J U LY 2 0 2 1
da Ma te rke on ts pa ge
ENCOURAGING YOUNG FARMERS TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY New Brunswick dairy farmer shares his journey entering the dairy industry using the province’s New Entrant Program
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Vol. 97 No. 7
CONTENTS PUBLISHED BY DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO 6780 Campobello Rd., Mississauga, Ont., L5N 2L8 EDITOR Jennifer Nevans firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE Pat Logan email@example.com 519-788-1559
Editorial Editor’s column
DFO board column
Grocery code of conduct
Somatic cell count
Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or editor and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of Dairy Farmers of Ontario. Publication of advertisements does not constitute endorsement or approval by Milk Producer or Dairy Farmers of Ontario of products or services advertised.
Milk Producer welcomes letters to the editor about magazine content.
Raising dairy-beef crosses
Co-ordinated by Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s communications division, Sharon Laidlaw, Manager, Corporate Communications. Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No.40063866. Return postage guaranteed. Circulation: 8,000. ISSN 0030-3038. Printed in Canada. SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscription changes or to unsubscribe, contact: MILK PRODUCER 6780 Campobello Road, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2L8 Phone: (905) 821-8970 Fax: (905) 821-3160 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dairy Research Cluster
U of G nutrition modelling
Manitoba producer profile
B.C. robot research facility
New agriculture minister
New N Noted
Markets Market demand
Websites: www.milkproducer.ca www.milk.org Facebook: /OntarioDairy Twitter: @OntarioDairy Instagram: @ontariodairy
Farm Management Calf care
33 MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
[ CELEBRATING THE CANADIAN DAIRY INDUSTRY By Jennifer Nevans
ot too long ago, the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity announced the date for the 2022 Canada’s Agriculture Day. While the Feb. 22 event—a day to celebrate farmers and the agri-food industry—is still several months away, the announcement serves as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have hardworking Canadian farmers securing our food system. There’s truly a lot for us to celebrate in Canadian agriculture. This month’s issue celebrates some outstanding accomplishments by Canadian dairy farmers. First off, we start by celebrating the best milk quality Ontario has ever produced. Measuring somatic cell count (SCC) is one of the tools the industry uses to gauge animal
health and milk quality. That’s why we’re excited to announce the weighted SCC average for Ontario in May was 160,000 cells per millilitre the lowest level it’s ever been. Low SCC numbers is an indication Ontario dairy farmers have high standards when it comes to animal care and milk production. You can read more about this achievement on page 6. And in case you missed it, last month, we featured a dairy farmer ranked in the top 12 for low SCC in Ontario. I encourage you to check out his story on page 6 of the June issue if you haven’t already. Heading over to Eastern Canada, in this month’s cover story, we followed New Brunswick dairy farmer Gilbert Matheson, who credits the province’s New Entrant Program for helping him enter the dairy industry more than a decade ago. Today, not only is Matheson running a successful dairy operation, he’s contributing back to the industry that helped him get started— most notably as the vice-chair of the provincial marketing board. You can read more about his
story on page 24. And in this issue, we also caught up with the 2020 Jersey Canada Youth of Distinction recipient from Manitoba. Nick Isenschmid runs the farm with his parents and brother. The team always makes cow comfort one of their top priorities. As a successful young dairy farmer, taking a holistic approach to dairy farming is what earned this farmer his distinction. As Isenschmid puts it, running a successful farm operation is about taking good care of both the herd and the land. “My dad always said, ‘Anything you take out of the land, you have to put back in.’ That’s true in any scenario. That’s one thing we really try to balance out,” Isenschmid says. You can read more about Isenschmid on page 8. As I’m writing this column, we’re a couple of days away from Canada Day. And while this year’s celebrations look a little different from previous years, it’s still a great reminder to celebrate Canadian agriculture and the farmers who form the backbone of this industry.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND: A DELICATE BALANCE By Murray Sherk
anada’s supply management system for dairy is about balancing production to meet consumer demand—a very easy statement to say but when we get beneath the surface, it can be challenging to do. Certainly, the advent of the pandemic has been an added dynamic, but there are many other factors that play into the supply-demand equation. Seasonal purchasing patterns, changing consumer preferences, retail promotions, product innovations, import levels, plant capacity and labour disruptions, to name a few, all affect demand. In terms of supply, feed quality, weather, input costs and seasonality of production, which naturally runs almost counter to the seasonality of demand, are some of the factors that influence milk supply. I’m quite pleased with how the industry has worked together during the past year to adjust so that we can continue to meet consumer demand, which shifted away from food service to more retail purchases. As I write this column in late June, we find the latest 12 weeks of re4
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tail dairy sales compared with two years ago (pre-pandemic) are up six per cent, with strong growth driven by butter and cream. The latest four weeks of retail sales are showing this growth softening to three per cent compared with 2019 retail sales, as the food service industry begins to open and people are ready to eat away from home. These are still encouraging numbers. To help manage the variabilities in supply and demand, butter and cheese stocks play an important role since they are products that can be stored. Butter stocks are mainly what we focus on and are typically at the lowest level in December after the high demand in butter and cheese prior to the holiday season and, on the supply side, lower production in the late summer and fall. In the winter, as cows enjoy cooler temperatures and consistent rations, production often rises but milk consumption is sluggish—and so butter stocks rise. We have lively debate in the industry about the right level of butter stocks, but that’s also a global number. Individual companies may have different perspectives depending on how their individual sales are progressing and what contracts they have. This past winter, butter stocks did not rise as they normally do because of the strong demand for both cream and butter. This led P5 boards to issue additional incentive days in order to have enough
milk to supply market needs in the fall. A further complication in this balancing act is the demand for butterfat is different than the demand for solids non-fat (SNF), or skim milk. Demand for cream has increased at a higher rate than the demand for skim. For example, in the past 16 weeks, we have had the demand for cream outstrip the demand for skim in 12 of those weeks. There is much work to be done in the coming years to deal with this excess skim, known as structural surplus. With the implementation of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, we have restrictions on how much of this structural surplus we can export. National collaboration between producers and processors is needed. At the producer level, changing the SNF ratio and how producers are paid for components has been one way we are dealing with this. We also know many consumers are sensitive to what farmers feed their cows, so caution is needed in this area. At the processing level, there are investments needed, not just to accommodate the rising need for cream but also to utilize more SNF. Producers need to work together nationally to ensure the environment is favourable to support these investments. All these issues require much discussion and understanding in order to maintain a healthy balance of supply and demand into the future. WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
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OPT-IN GROCERY CODES DON’T CREATE TRANSPARENCY, FAIRNESS By Mathieu Frigon
ver the past year, significant progress has been made in the discussion of how Canada’s large retailers treat their suppliers. We’ve come from angry responses to retailers’ surprise announcements of new fees to a general acknowledgement there are issues in the relationship between retailers and suppliers that need to be addressed. This month, ministers of agriculture from across the country will release the results of their study on the impacts of grocery retail concentration and the resulting mistreatment of processors and farmers. Several options have been presented to the ministers ranging from voluntary, industry-led to government legislation.
Over the past two years, the Dairy Processors Association of Canada has studied this issue and explored the corrective actions taken by countries that have similar levels of retail concentration, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland. Their experiences have shown that to truly address imbalances in the food supply chain, a grocery code must be mandatory, apply to all and have clearly outlined rights and obligations. Most importantly, it must have real consequences for non-compliance. To do otherwise would not bring us closer to the level playing field processors and farmers need to grow and thrive. A voluntary approach simply creates another way in which large grocery retailers can hold the balance of power. We are sure there are some that will not be surprised the dairy industry is calling for a government intervention, such as a mandatory grocery
code. Our experience has shown us government frameworks can encourage collaboration between parties that might not always see eye to eye. The fact of the matter is governments have the regulatory powers needed to effectively address issues and create an environment that is conducive to a strong Canadian food supply. In our view, the goal of a grocery code is to encourage greater collaboration. While there may be divergent opinions on how a grocery code should be shaped, the fact that we have suppliers, farmers and retailers working together on proposals shows we’re making progress. The key now is to ensure this progress isn’t halted by half measures. Mathieu Frigon is the president and chief executive officer of the Dairy Processors Association of Canada.
CELEBRATING THE BEST MILK QUALITY ONTARIO HAS EVER PRODUCED By Guy Séguin
hen was I about 10 years old, I spent most of my summers at my maternal grandfather’s dairy farm milking, haying and working hard down on Horse Creek Road in the French village of Alfred, Ont. My job was to carefully put the strap around the cow so the Surge Babson Bros milking unit and bucket could be stabilized and aligned with the milking cups. The milk from the bucket would be transferred to a clean stainless steel pail and the milk was transported by hand and filtered into a Mueller cooling bulk tank, a recently purchased item on my grandfather’s farm. One time, I used that very pail for my fishing activities on Horse Creek and only rinsed it when I was done. That night, the harvested milk smelled like fish due to the unwashed pail, and three milkings were dumped and discarded. Only now do I fully realize the consequences of my actions. I learned three things from working on the farm: my Franco-Ontarian grandfather loved me very much since he never once uttered a single reproach in my direction, the importance of 6
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
quality milk, and to never again use that stainless steel pail for fishing. In the 70s and 80s, raw milk was tested once a month, and provincial averages for somatic cell count (SCC) levels were well above 500,000 cells per millilitre. Milk bacteria levels were also above the equivalent bactoscan 121,000 cells/ mL. In today’s standards, most of that milk would be considered mediocre at best. Today, Ontario’s milk quality has never been so good. The weighted SCC average for Ontario in May was 160,000 cells/mL, truly a record achievement, indicating our cows have excellent udder health. Only a few years ago, Ontario averages for SCC never went below 200,000 cells/mL. In addition, for the last 12 months, milk bacteria’s provincial average bactoscan levels (not to be confused with standard plate count) has been 25,000 cells/mL or less, an exceptional achievement and an indication of the cleanliness of our milking systems and milk cooling techniques. All these milk quality milestones were accomplished with record milk production. Ontario is truly blessed to have different communities. First, there are Francophone farmers still working the land and providing beautiful
communities in eastern and northern Ontario. The same is true for Amish producers, some still milking by hand or with buckets—much like the ways on my grandfather’s farm. There’s also the large Mennonite communities with their strong work ethics, some only allowing electricity by generators in their tiestall barns to run the vacuum system to milk in a traditional pipeline and cool the milk in a bulk tank, a requirement by law. As for the relatively recent Dutch and Swiss communities that brought with them new technologies, such as robotic milking systems, they are changing the ways some do business and milk cows in their everyday lives. Finally, the multigenerational Scots, Irish and English producers who helped build and shape Ontario to what it is today. All these dairy communities bring creativity and ingenuity to this beautiful province, and have at least one thing in common—their commitment to milk quality. Let us celebrate this remarkable milestone. Guy Séguin is Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s systems engineer.
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FROM LEFT are Nick Isenschmid, his fiancée, Jenn Podschadly, parents, Marianne and Urs, and brother, Daniel, in the new heifer barn at Sunny Dairy Farm in Manitoba.
MANITOBA FARMER FOCUSED ON MANAGING FARM OPERATION WELL By Tamara Botting
ick Isenschmid loves what he does. “I grew up dairy farming,” says the Grunthal, Man., resident, who works on Sunny Dairy Farm with his parents, Urs and Marianne, and brother, Daniel. After he and his brother went to college in Lakeland, Man., they both returned to the family farm to work full time. “It works really well,” Isenschmid says, who was the recipient of the 2020 Jersey Canada Youth of Distinction Award. While his brother’s focus is mainly on the machinery and feed side of the operation, Isenschmid’s focus is being hands-on with the herd. They milk about 140 cows in a 10 swingover milking parlour with an automatic dip and flush system. “We were just looking for a back flush, then we came across this milking parlour and it ended up working really nicely. It’s dropped our somatic cell count quite a bit, and works very well as a management tool,” Isenschmid says. He notes the new system has trimmed about half an hour to 45 minutes off their milking time. That’s important as they look at growing the herd. They currently have 90 Holsteins and
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
50 Jerseys. Isenschmid says their Jersey side has been expanding rapidly after they introduced the breed to their farm a few years ago. “About 85 per cent of the Jerseys get bred back sexed semen,” he says. “On the Holstein side, we breed most of them conventional or use them when we flush the Jerseys.” He says after the calves are born, they’re immediately given a calf guard vaccine and two litres of colostrum. Over the following 24 hours, they receive an additional four L, for a total of six. “We put them into individual pens until they get weaned,” Isenschmid says. They will gradually put the calves into larger groups to help them get accustomed to one another. He notes that just recently, they renovated their calf barn to install a new ventilation system for better air flow. “We’ve been really happy with the success of that,” Isenschmid says. “We definitely got our money’s worth.” Cow comfort is important to the operation, Isenschmid says. Last year, they built a new heifer barn to make sure their herd had plenty of space. “(The heifers are) super comfy and extremely healthy. The growth we’ve seen on them is unbelievable,” he says. “It was a quick return on investment for us, and we’re extremely hap-
py with that.” Improving the management side of the operation is an ongoing effort, and their goal is to increase yields. “Our bulk tank average right now is 4.72 butterfat, and we get around 29 L per cow. We’d like to see that go up a little bit,” he says. “We still have some stalls available, and as the barn fills with Jerseys, I think our butterfat will go up, and then we can push a little bit more for litres as well.” Of course, running a successful farm operation is about taking good care of both the herd and the land—they have about 660 acres, and grow all of their herd’s feed, save minerals and supplements. “We work with nature and a lot of animals, so we try to respect both of them,” Isenschmid says. They work closely with an agronomist to make sure they’re fully replenishing the soil, so they can farm it for years to come. “It’s important. My dad always said, ‘Anything you take out of the land, you have to put back in.’ That’s true in any scenario. That’s one thing we really try to balance out,” he says. Tamara Botting is an author and award-winning journalist.
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BRITISH COLUMBIA TO HOUSE LARGEST ROBOTIC MILKING RESEARCH FACILITY IN NORTH AMERICA
he University of British Columbia (UBC) Dairy Education and Research Centre will become the largest robotic milking research facility in North America with the addition of six GEA DairyRobot R9500 box robots. The partnership between GEA and UBC will open research opportunities, attract more students and provide new educational experiences. “We’re excited to partner with UBC as they set a new bar for research dedicated to robotic milking that will further advance the entire dairy industry,” says Stuart Marshall, GEA automated milk system’s business development manager. “Robots provide an immense amount of data, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of understanding and using it in daily cow management.” The Dairy Education and Research Centre is a world leader in dairy cattle welfare, behaviour, reproduction and nutrient recovery research, attracting students from around the world.
A PROJECT YEARS IN THE MAKING The idea of transitioning to robotic milking came about three years ago when the university was looking to achieve phosphorus sustainability, address labour challenges and upgrade its 20-year-old parlour. UBC worked with GEA
PICTURED ARE Nelson Dinn, the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) business operations manager, and Ronaldo Cerri, director, associate professor in dairy cattle reproduction at the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre.
and its local GEA dealer, Pacific Dairy Centre, to plan a layout that met its research needs with a goal to begin milking in winter 2021. “Becoming a research farm milking 100 per cent of our herd with robots is significant, as it is representative of dairy farms adapting to robotics worldwide,” says Nelson Dinn, UBC’s business operations manager. “We want to position the UBC dairy centre as a technology hub at the
forefront of dairy cattle research globally.” The retrofit project will have a flexible design incorporating a total of six GEA robots in two existing research barns, housing about 250 lactating cows, along with one training robot. The six-row main barn is set up in quadrants, making it easy to incorporate a robot in each pen. UBC will add two more robots in its second barn—a four-row barn with drive-through feeding and individual feeding boxes for measuring intakes on one side. “Experimental design was a priority in our planning,” says Ronaldo Cerri, UBC’s director and associate professor in dairy cattle reproduction. “As a research facility, having multiple individual robot pens for replication is important to strengthen our research projects.”
RESEARCH FOR THE REAL WORLD
A 3D RENDERING of the University of British Columbia’s Dairy Education and Research Centre highlights where the robots will be placed in the existing research barns. 10
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“By investing in robotic milking, one of our goals is to maintain current total milk output by increasing milk production per cow while reducing overall herd size,” Dinn says. “This means we can lower water use over time, be more efficient with manure management and explore nutrient extraction.” Data integration and user safety were among the top features for choosing the GEA DairyRobot. “With the latest technology, we’ll be able to help fill in data gaps we see today and provide W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
science-based solutions to problems encountered by dairy farmers,” Dinn says. “We’re a research farm, but we are also a commercial farm and we have to be financially sustainable—this keeps us honest in the dairy farmer’s eye.”
UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE “The possibilities are endless when it comes to studying animal welfare, cow longevity and increasing efficiency,” Cerri says. “We’d like to take what we’ve learned with conventional milking and dive deeper using new data we can obtain from automated milking systems. We don’t have all the research ideas in mind today, but with a world-class facility using modern milking technology, we’ll continue attracting top students and with top students come great ideas.” In addition to learning and sharing within the dairy industry, public education is also a focus for the university. They look forward to bringing new attention and experiences to thousands of people who visit the dairy centre annually for farm tours. “Support from GEA has been wonderful— we’re impressed with the attention from them at all levels and their willingness to make this a two-way partnership,” Dinn says. “Our previous director, Dr. Jim Thompson, along with Dr. Nina von Keyserlingk and Dr. Dan Weary from the animal welfare program, and our dean, Dr. Rickey Yada, have been instrumental in moving this project forward. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, our research partner, and input from faculty, staff and students help ensure we meet research and operational requirements.” For more information on the UBC dairy centre, visit dairycentre.landfood.ubc.ca. For more information on the GEA DairyRobot, visit gea.com.
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MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
DAIRY FARMER ELECTED VICE-CHAIR OF LIVESTOCK RESEARCH INNOVATION CORPORATION
on Gordon, a dairy farmer in Durham Region and Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s Region 5 board member, has been elected as vice-chair of the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). “LRIC has a very strong focus on driving improvement, including ensuring industry needs are represented in government research priorities, creating opportunities for collaboration and cross-sectoral research and promoting the adoption of research results in the livestock industry,” Gordon says. “Research is a key priority for Dairy Farmers of Ontario, and working together with other livestock organizations through LRIC benefits our entire industry.” Along with Gordon, Brian Miller, a Huron County farmer and the poultry industry representative on the board, takes over as chair of LRIC. “This is a dynamic time for innovation in the livestock industry, and I’m excited to lead an organization that has its fingers on the pulse of the big issues all of us in animal agriculture face,” Miller says. “Issues like greenhouse gas emissions or antimicrobial resistance are bigger than any single sector or organization, and it’s through the type of collaboration fostered by LRIC that we can address them collectively.” Two new directors have joined LRIC’s board. RJ Taylor, managing director of the Ontario Aquaculture Association and co-owner of Cedar Crest Trout Farms, is the new partner organization director, taking over from Jennifer MacTavish, executive director of Ontario
FROM LEFT are Brian Miller, a Huron County farmer and poultry industry representative who has been elected chair of the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, and Don Gordon, dairy farmer in Durham Region who has been elected vice-chair.
Sheep Farmers. Tara Terpstra, a hog farmer from Huron County, is the new LRIC board representative from Ontario Pork. She replaces pork producer Oliver Haan, who has retired from the LRIC board and most recently served as chair of the organization. “LRIC has started taking a more active role in industry outreach, particularly around emerging issues facing our sector,” Haan says. “We’ve re-established our international research advisory committee, and our new Horizon Series of webinars and white papers is making credible information available to the public
on emerging issues, such as regenerative agriculture and genomics.” Established in 2012 with support from Ontario’s beef, pork, dairy and poultry sector organizations and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, LRIC’s mission is driving innovation. The organization takes a value chain approach to research and innovation by providing leadership in research priority setting, co-ordination and process, identifying and communicating emerging issues and strengthening networks across the sector. For more information, visit www.livestockresearch.ca.
PROGRAM ASSISTS FARMERS IN ADOPTING CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES
he federal government has launched the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, with an allocated budget of $165 million over five years. Under the program, farmers and agribusinesses will have access to funding to help develop and adopt the latest clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance their competitiveness. The funding will help them continue to move toward a low-carbon economy by focusing on three priority areas, including: • Green energy and energy efficiency to support better management of energy in-
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
tensive processes and introduction of energy generation; • Precision agriculture, which uses a wide range of technologies to gather and process data for the purpose of guiding targeted actions that improve the sustainability, efficiency and productivity of agricultural operations; • Encourage bioeconomy, which employs technologies that use agricultural waste and byproducts for energy and bioproduct generation. “Canadian farmers, ranchers and agrifood businesses are constantly innovating
to make their practices greener and more sustainable,” says Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson. “Investing in continuously helping the sector adopt clean technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions is a key part of our plan to build a healthy environment and a healthy economy for all.” Applications are accepted on a continuous basis until funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the program. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit https://bit.ly/3vPjCtu. W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
LISA THOMPSON APPOINTED NEW ONTARIO AG MINISTER
isa Thompson, member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Huron-Bruce, has been sworn in as Ontario’s new Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in June, replacing former agriculture minister Ernie Hardeman. “I am humbled to be given this new post, and I pledge to Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities that I will work hard on their behalf,” Thompson says, who has been an MPP since 2011. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has worked closely with Thompson over the last year while she served in her previous role as Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Thompson has a valuable understanding of farm and rural issues and has a direct connection to those communities,” says Peggy Brekveld, OFA’s president. “We look forward to working alongside her to grow the industry and continue to focus on the priorities and opportunities that will stimulate economic growth for all Ontarians.” OFA and Thompson acknowledged the hard work Hardeman has put in as Minister of Ag-
riculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Thompson is looking forward to working with farmers, commodity organizations, processing sector and rural communities.
“I am humbled to be given this new post, and I pledge to Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities that I will work hard on their behalf.” — Lisa Thompson Other notable changes to the cabinet include: • Dave Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, appointed as Minister of Environment; • Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, appointed as Minister of Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources and Forestry, as well as Indigenous Affairs; • Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, appointed as Minister of Infrastructure.
LISA THOMPSON, member of provincial parliament (MPP) for Huron-Bruce, replaces Ernie Hardeman as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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Alberta: Chinook Dairy Services Lethbridge (403) 328-2569 Ponoka (403) 783-2577 British Columbia: Chinook Dairy Services Chilliwack (604) 824-4343 West Coast Robotics Agassiz (604)796-5532
Ontario: Dortmans Bros. Barn Equipment Strathroy (800) 265-3435 Partner Ag Services Tara (877) 349-3276 Dundas Agri Systems Brinston (613) 652-4844
Manitoba: Penner Farm Services Blumenort (204) 326-3781 Saskatchewan: Chinook Dairy Services Hague (306) 225-5000
MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
TWO NEW DFC CAMPAIGNS TURNING HEADS NATIONWIDE By Dairy Farmers of Canada
airy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has launched two dynamic new marketing campaigns. Dairy Farmers of Tomorrow highlights the next generation of Canadian dairy farmers and their work toward their shared future. The campaign features authentic and relatable young farmers shining a light on sustainable and responsible modern farming practices. “We’re reminding consumers of Canadian dairy’s progress in lowering carbon emissions, our farmers’ commitment to animal care and the fact our milk is produced without the use of artificial growth hormones,” says Pierre Lampron, DFC’s president. Working with third-party social media influencers, the young farmers showcase their use of innovative technologies while debunking myths about dairy farming practices. The creative platform demonstrates Canada’s next generation of farmers are on a mission to keep innovating and improving, especially in the areas of animal care and sustainability. The six-week, bilingual campaign kicked off on June 10 with social and digital components, featuring online video, influencers, web and audio, and will run until July 22 nationwide. To view the campaign, visit https://bit.ly/ 3vDFhF5.
DAIRY FARMING FORWARD The second campaign focused on the rigorous standards behind the nation’s high-quality milk. Dairy Farming Forward – High Standards highlights the progressive practices Canadian farmers use to maintain animal welfare, food safety and sustainability—integral areas of this forward-facing industry. “This campaign takes a multi-faceted ap-
proach that speaks directly to the quality of Canadian milk, cow health and environmental concerns,” says Pamela Nalewajek, DFC’s vice-president of marketing. “We are driving home the fact consumers can trust the Blue Cow logo because Canadian dairy farmers care about the same things they do.” The Dairy Farming Forward – High Standards creative platform demonstrates Canada’s dairy farmers are committed to constant innovation and high standards. Canadian dairy farmers proudly meet some of the most stringent standards in the world, including 42 requirements on food safety and close attention to animal health— in Canada, every cow is monitored every day. The six-week, bilingual campaign kicked off on June 21, with social and digital components, featuring online video, influencers, web and audio, and will run until Aug. 2 nationwide. This included a Canada Day TV media partnership scheduled for July 1 on CBC and Radio-Canada. To view the campaign, visit https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=wS9YrRS10Ss.
Stay informed with DFC’s Dairy Express Sign up for the Dairy Express e-newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added to the mailing list.
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
PIZZA PIZZA ADOPTS THE BLUE COW LOGO
airy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and Pizza Pizza Limited have announced the iconic Blue Cow logo will be showcased in select Pizza Pizza marketing campaigns nationwide. A symbol of Canadian pride and high quality, the Blue Cow assures Pizza Pizza’s customers the mozzarella cheese topping on their pizza is made with 100 per cent Canadian milk. “No fewer than nine out of 10 Canadians recognize the logo, found on 8,600 products, and we are excited to welcome Pizza Pizza into our Blue Cow family of more than 500 brands and three dozen restaurant chains,” says Pierre Lam-
pron, DFC’s president. “DFC looks forward to partnering with Pizza Pizza as it expands across the country, further supporting our commitment behind the Blue Cow that has made it as one of Canada’s most trusted brands.” DFC and Pizza Pizza share many of the same values around food quality, animal care, sustainability and community involvement— important factors that consumers consider when making purchasing decisions. Now more than ever, Canadians increasingly want to trust where their food comes from, and they seek assurance that their values are reflected in the brands they support.
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“Customers know the Blue Cow and now they can support Canadian farmers by grabbing a slice of their favourite pizza,” says Adrian Fuoco, vice-president of marketing at Pizza Pizza Limited. “Canadian owned and operated since 1967, Pizza Pizza is a homegrown success story, enriching the livelihoods of more than 700 local franchisees, and the Blue Cow reaffirms our strong ties to hardworking Canadian farmers and small business owners.” The Blue Cow logo rollout began in Ontario this spring and will spread across all of Pizza Pizza’s 73 locations throughout Canada later this year.
Double-Wheel • The quantity of ASH is -66% compared to traditional rotary rakes • +0.13 MJ/lb of Neat Energy for Lactation • Greater milk productivity: +1.8 lb/day milk per cow • Less use of integrators Moreover, RA-Rake’s innovative design allows to: • Reduce fixed and variable costs (M&R) • Increase the operating speed, up to 12.5 mph • Reduce environmental impact
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+1-888-424-9112 MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
REGISTER FOR PROACTION TRACEABILITY THROUGH DAIRYTRACE Reporting under proAction’s traceability module becomes mandatory on Sept. 1, 2021
ore than ever, consumers are looking to food producers for high standards in production, ingredient quality and animal welfare. DairyTrace and the proAction traceability module are an import-
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
ant part of how Ontario’s dairy producers will build trust with consumers. DairyTrace is an important national dairy cattle traceability program, which provides a single, common framework for dairy farmers
to track animal identity and movements, record premises identification and reduce the impact of potential animal health issues. Keeping meticulous records and implementing comprehensive traceability practices lets producers prepare for, manage and reduce the impact of potential animal health issues, and shows consumers the industry is committed to ensuring a safe food supply. Under proAction’s traceability module, everyone who owns, cares for or is in control of dairy cattle must record and report animal identity, movement and location. Producers will be required to report dairy cattle traceability events to DairyTrace beginning in September 2021 under proAction’s traceability module. During the validation, producers will be asked to provide evidence traceability events are being reported. For example, producers can access their DairyTrace account and show reported events to the validator. Alternatively, producers can generate a DairyTrace proAction report through their DairyTrace account. Activating an account with DairyTrace is critical to ensure proAction penalties are not incurred. If producers do not sign up and start reporting in time, it could result in a major corrective action request (CAR) at the time of validation. If the CAR is not rectified in a timely manner, the producer will not pass his or her validation and will incur proAction penalties, which could result in licence and milk pickups being suspended. Producers should contact DairyTrace’s customer service at 1‐866‐55‐TRACE for help setting up their account details, and are reminded they can start reporting events, such as tag activation or animal movements, to the dairy tracking database. For more information, refer to the following resources: • Frequency asked questions: https://bit. ly/35Bd07y (French: https://bit.ly/3gDxAJy); • Getting Started in DairyTrace: https://bit. ly/3cSdBFO (French: https://bit.ly/3wGyDiL); • Fact sheets: https://bit.ly/3zFwaXx (French: https://bit.ly/35ww4ns). WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
DFO, ONTARIO SOCCER TO OFFER BURSARIES
airy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) has partnered with Ontario Soccer to be a community partner and the exclusive title partner of the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program. “Organizations like Ontario Soccer do great work supporting local youth, and partnering with them allows us to support them, too,” says Cheryl Smith, DFO’s chief executive officer. “Every dollar that goes into this program represents direct investment from a real person—a dairy farmer— and we are very proud of the support we provide
to youth activity and opportunity, where they live and work.” Created to support the education and development of youth leaders within Ontario Soccer, the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program takes a holistic approach to leadership recognition and development, with an emphasis on growth. The program is based on three pillars of celebration, recognition and development to support Ontario Soccer youth leaders. “We gladly welcome DFO to our partner family, which will go a long way to give further vital
support to our youth via the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Program to celebrate, recognize and develop these outstanding youngsters,” says Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer’s chief executive officer. “This could not have come at a better time as we get ready to return to play, and we thank a great organization like DFO for seeing the value in the development of our members.” For more information on the MilkUP Ontario Soccer Future Leaders Award and Education Grant application, visit https://www.ontariosoccer. net/centre-circle-awards.
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JANICE COMEAU has been appointed the new chair of the B.C. Milk Marketing Board (BCMMB).
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NEW CHAIR OF B.C. MILK MARKETING BOARD
anice Comeau has been appointed the new chair of the B.C. Milk Marketing Board (BCMMB), by Order in Council for a term effective July 31, 2021, to July 31, 2023. Comeau has 30 years of experience in finance and strategic advisory roles. With 17 years of board experience, Comeau is currently on the board of Sugarbud Craft Growers Corp and the International Women’s Forum, and recently spent three years as chair of the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority. In 2016, she was the recipient of the B.C. CFO Award for large private companies and the Corporate Leadership Award for Surrey Women in Business. BCMMB would like to thank outgoing chair Ben Janzen for his significant contributions and dedication to the industry, serving more than 21 years as a board member and most recently as the chair. Janzen has been a champion for the B.C. dairy industry and has represented the interests of all industry stakeholders throughout his term.
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MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
P.E.I. DAIRY PROCESSOR RECEIVES $2.4M TO UPGRADE FACILITY
malgamated Dairies Limited (ADL), a dairy co-operative based in Prince Edward Island, has received $2.4 million from the federal and provincial governments to install new automation and robotics equipment for its existing feta packaging line at the facility in Summerside, P.E.I. The upgrades are expected to double packaging speed and capacity and will help bring new products to the market. “(The) support from both provincial and federal governments is appreciated and positive for the Prince Edward Island dairy industry and the future of ADL,” says Chad Mann, ADL’s chief executive officer. “The investment reinforces ADL as a leader in specialty cheese processing and in sustainable dairy processing.” The funding includes $1.4 million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) AgriInnovate Program, $200,000 from the P.E.I. department of agriculture under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership and $810,000 through
the Innovation Prince Edward Island Enriched Investment Tax Credit. AAFC’s AgriInnovate Program is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a fiveyear (2018-23), $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. “This funding will assist in furthering the success of our dairy sector, while also ensuring ADL continues to foster leadership, innovation and growth in our agriculture industry,” says P.E.I. Minister of Agriculture and Land Bloyce Thompson. “I want to thank the government of Canada and the department of economic growth, tourism and culture for their support in such an important project for our industry.” ADL is a dairy farmer owned co-operative that has been providing the domestic, international and local community in P.E.I. with a wide range of high-quality products for nearly 70 years.
DAIRYCRAFT RECOGNIZED BY IDF
airycraft, Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) educational version of the popular Minecraft video game, has been recognized by the International Dairy Federation (IDF). Since March 2021, Dairycraft has been downloaded more than 2.2 million times and is being played around the world by some of Minecraft’s 126 million monthly active users.
This free online learning resource serves as an ongoing tool available to teachers, students and parents to support virtual and inclass learning. To learn more about Dairycraft in schools and download the Education Edition map, visit https://www.milk.org/dairycraft/. To read the IDF article about Dairycraft, visit https://bit.ly/3j7e8ro.
PERTH COUNTY DAIRY PRODUCERS PARTICIPATE IN WORLD MILK DAY
ighlighting Ontario’s dairy industry and the contributions Perth County’s dairy sector makes to the local economy were the goal of a special all-day radio program that featured pre-recorded guest speakers, dairy trivia and a calf giveaway on World Milk Day (WMD). Doug and Dave Johnston, brothers and owners of Maplevue Farms in North Perth, Ont., came up with the idea to celebrate WMD on June 1 by highlighting the local dairy industry and educating the public on various aspects of the sector. They then reached out to a local radio station to partner on a program that would provide listeners with a unique way to recognize and celebrate dairy. The radio program, hosted by The Ranch 100.1 FM, was broadcasted from Maplevue Farm’s milking barn and featured pre-recorded interviews with several producers, including Henry Wydeven, Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s (DFO) board member, Dennis Noom, owner of New Morning Holsteins, as well as Janice Danen, DFO’s dairy educator. Other guests included members of Parliament, members of provincial parliament, representatives from the agricultural school at Guelph Ridgetown College, Gay Lea Foods and other industry organizations. Funds raised from the program will be used to support local school milk programs. To hear a condensed version of the day’s activities, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTS3n6UK0Kg.
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MANITOBA / NW ONTARIO Penner Farm Services Ltd. Blumenort — 204 326-3781 Thunder Bay – 800.461.9333 ONTARIO Claire Snoddon Farm Machinery Sunderland — 705 357-3579 Conestogo Agri Systems Inc. Drayton — 519 638-3022 1 800 461-3022
Don’t get stuck in the same old, same old. Place your drive unit where you want it. Our unique design also moves the drive unit laterally which reduces wear to a minimum.Elevating the drive unit over the cross gutter allows easy access for maintenance and keeps the working area clean. County Automation Ameliasburg — 613 962-7474 Dairy Lane Systems Komoka — 519 666-1404 Keith Siemon Farm Systems Ltd. Walton — 519 345-2734 Lamers Silos Ltd. Ingersoll — 519 485-4578 Lawrence’s Dairy Supply Inc. Moose Creek — 613 538-2559 McCann Farm Automation Ltd. Seeley’s Bay — 613 382-7411 Brockville — 613 926-2220 McLaren Systems Cobden — 613 646-2062
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[ INDUSTRY PREPARES FOR A RETURN TO NORMAL July. However, initial assessments show a 2.43 per cent increase in national demand forecasted for late summer and fall—mainly due to the reopening of the economy. This is another positive announcement considering the expected import levels in the 2021-22 dairy year. “We always have to consider imports,” Dubé says. “This year, imports were lower than expected, but we’re anticipating import levels to increase over the coming years as things return to normal and with the additional incremental market access granted through recent trade agreements.” He says even with this increase in import levels, P5 provinces are still expecting some of the growth in demand will need to be filled by domestic production. In terms of national dairy product sales at the retail level, for the 52-weeks ending May 22, 2021, sales for fluid milk, fluid cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese and butter increased by 2.3, 8.9, 2.4, 4.3, 6.3 and 6.1 per cent, respectively, compared with the previous 52-weeks. While national dairy product sales remain
By Jennifer Nevans
s the industry inches closer toward its targeted butter stock levels for the end of the dairy year, P5 provinces can credit the recently issued production signals for helping producers close the gap. In May 2021, butter stock levels reached 30,400 tonnes—a 2,600-tonne increase from the month earlier when butter stocks were at 27,900 tonnes. “This is good news because the stocks are going in the right direction,” says Patrice Dubé, Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s chief economics and policy development officer. “We are still waiting on June numbers to determine whether we will reach our 35,000-tonne target for the end of the dairy year in July 2021, but this is a positive trend.” Along with June butter stock levels, P5 boards are also waiting for revised market demand forecasts from the Canadian Dairy Commission in
P10 UTILIZATION BY CLASS*
% Solids non-fat
For April 2021 (kg of butterfat/kg of solids non-fat) 11.87%
0.20% 0.65% 0.70%
*4.62% 16.31% 15.24%
0.80% 1.02% 2.39% 2.87%
*0.82% *2.92% 6.29%
*0.39% 2.92% 4.31%
*3.05% 18.37% 17.48%
3.35% 2.75% 3.16%
1.83% 1.73% 0.60%
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
strong, the industry is also seeing retail sales slowly going back to the levels they were at in 2019—an indication the industry is returning to its pre-COVID environment when the food service industry was open and consumers weren’t panic buying at grocery stores. Dubé says as long as the pandemic improves, the industry will continue to see retail sales return to normal, as consumers are eager to purchase and consume food outside their homes. As for national butterfat requirements, for the 12-months ending April 2021, total requirements reached 1.09 million kilograms compared with 1.06 million kg the year before. Meanwhile, total P10 milk production for the 12-months ending April 2021 reached 1.07 million kg compared with 1.04 million kg the year before. P5 boards’ primary objective is to continuously monitor the milk market situation and meet demand in the most optimal way. Given these uncertain times, P5 boards will continue to adapt production signals to address market changes, as required. Class 1a1 (includes Classes 1a2, 1a3, 1c and 1d for confidentiality reasons) Fluid milk and beverages Class 1b Fluid creams Class 2a Yogurt, yogurt beverages, kefir and lassi Class 2b4 (includes Classes 2b1, 2b2 and 2b3 for confidentiality reasons) Fresh dairy desserts, sour cream, milkshakes and sports nutrition drinks Class 2b5 Ice cream and frozen yogurt Class 3a1 Specialty cheese Class 3a2 Cheese curds and fresh cheeses Class 3b2 (includes Class 3b1 for confidentiality reasons) Cheddar cheese and aged cheddar Class 3c1 Feta Class 3c2 Asiago, Gouda, Havarti, Parmesan and Swiss Class 3c4 (includes Classes 3c3 and 3c5 for confidentiality reasons) Brick, Colby, farmer’s, jack, Monterey jack, muenster, pizza cheese, pizza mozzarella and mozzarella other than what falls within 3d. Class 3c6 Paneer Class 3d Mozzarella used strictly on fresh pizzas by establishments registered with the Canadian Dairy Commission Class 4a Butter and powders Class 4d (includes Classes 4b1, 4b2, 4c and 4m for confidentiality reasons) Concentrated milk for retail, losses and animal feed Class 5a Cheese for further processing Class 5b Non-cheese products for further processing Class 5c Confectionery products
MONTHLY QUOTA PRICES ($/kg) PROVINCE
AMOUNT FOR SALE/ kg
British Columbia Manitoba
Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island
Exchange cancelled No clearing price established
*Newfoundland does not operate a monthly quota exchange. Quota is traded between producers. **Quota cap price of $24,000 in effect in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
“... gets udders all the way ready, fast.” — Joe Engel
LUCK-E HOLSTEINS, The Engel Family, HAMPSHIRE, IL, Milking 185 Holsteins, Bred over 400 EX, RHA 11,576 kgs M 4.5F 523 kgs 3.3P 377 kgs, SCC 160,000 2020 State Show Premier Breeder and Exhibitor. A group of recently fresh 2-year-old King Doc daughters (above). Including two VG88 full sisters to Luck-E Dr Antidote RC EX90 54H902 “Udder Comfort™ does an awesome job softening udders and is gentle to skin. Results set it apart from everything else. For silky udders that are ready fast, we use it on every fresh cow 2x/day for a week after calving. We apply it prefresh for first-calf heifers, and get it between the leg and udder,” says Joe Engel, Luck-E Holsteins, Hampshire, Ill. The Engels have bred over 400 EX cows, including Red Impact Cow Advent Asia EX94 and some impact sires, including Red and Polled.
The Engels focus on balanced cows from consistent families, wide from muzzle to pins, efficient and lasting in freestalls with good udders and high components. “We like to be proactive. It’s good for cows and milk quality. We want fresh, crisp, perfect udders by 10 days to 3 weeks fresh. Udder Comfort is the only product to deliver. It gets udders all the way ready, fast.” https://wp.me/pb1wH7-e6
1.888.773.7153 1.613.652.9086 uddercomfort.com Call to locate a distributor near you. For external application to the udder only, after milking, as an essential component of udder management. Always wash and dry teats thoroughly before milking.
MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
NEW PRODUCER PROGRAM POLICY UNDER REVIEW
REMINDER: OVERPRODUCTION AND UNDERPRODUCTION CREDITS PERMITTED
*These figures are based on Ontario’s average composition for May 2021 of 4.11 kg butterfat, 3.18 kg protein and 5.94 kg other solids, rounded to the nearest cent.
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
*There is a three-month lag reporting these figures.
82 P5 blend price WMP blend price
80 78 76
74 Jan 2021
The graph below shows the 12-month blend price for the P5 provinces and Western Milk Pool (WMP).
The May 2021 Class III Price, US$18.96 per hundredweight, is equivalent to C$51.89 per hectolitre. This equivalent is based on the exchange rate US$1 = C$1.20579, the exchange rate when the USDA announced the Class III Price. The Class III Price is in $ US per hundredweight at 3.5 per cent butterfat. One hundredweight equals 0.44 hectolitres. Canadian Class 5a and Class 5b prices track U.S. prices set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
P5 AND WESTERN MILK POOL BLEND PRICES*
Blend price in $/hL
U.S. CLASS PRICES
A total 3,340 producers sold milk to DFO in May compared with 3,373 a year earlier.
$70 Oct. 2020
Total deductions Average total net
$0.625 $0.050 $0.060 $3.070 $1.400
$0.625 $0.050 $0.060 $3.070 $1.400
DFO administration DFO research CanWest DHI Transportation Market expansion
For May 2021
ONTARIO MONTHLY PRODUCER AVERAGE GROSS BLEND PRICE
ONTARIO DEDUCTIONS, PER HL
atching P5 milk production with variable markets has been an increasing challenge in recent years. Some producers are accumulating underproduction credits, which create milk shortages, and then use those credits when there is already enough milk in the system. This explains, in part, quota increases and decreases, as well as the credit limitation policy observed in recent years. As such, farm underproduction credits have become a significant issue when trying to fill provincial or P5 markets. P5 boards reviewed the overproduction and underproduction credits permitted and approved an adjustment, which will take effect by Aug. 1, 2022. Currently, all P5 producers are permitted to borrow a maximum of 10 over-
production credit days (10 x daily quota) and can accumulate a maximum of 30 underproduction credit days (30 x daily quota). This policy is in place to help producers manage their quota during milk production variations, while providing enough milk to meet yearly P5 demand. Current overproduction and underproduction credits permitted have been harmonized across P5 provinces since 2009. • As of Aug. 1, 2022, the maximum number of underproduction credits permitted will change from -30 days to -15 days; • Overproduction credits permitted will remain at +10 days, for 25 total credit days instead of 40. Producers are reminded of the changes and are free to adjust their credit day position at their own pace, as long as they are within the revised underproduction credit limit by the effective date. Any underproduction credits below the revised limit by the effective date of Aug. 1, 2022, will be lost.
Editor’s note: This message was previously announced in the October 2019, August 2020 and April 2021 issues of Milk Producer.
ue to low volumes of quota being offered for sale on recent quota exchanges, Ontario New Producer Program (NPP) applicants have been unsuccessful in acquiring quota over the exchange. Each time this occurs, the NPP queue is pushed back until the first applicant on the list is successful in obtaining quota. As a result of this issue, Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) will be reviewing the NPP policy. Effective June 1, 2021, DFO will: • Temporarily suspend adding new NPP applicants to the queue; • Temporarily suspend collecting the advance deposit of $10,000 from NPP applicants. Those applicants who have already been asked by DFO to submit their $10,000 deposit and received confirmation are permitted to continue through the program as per policy. All NPP applicants currently in the queue will receive direct written correspondence advising of this change. Further communication is scheduled to be provided to all NPP applicants by Nov. 30, 2021.
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FROM LEFT are Gilbert and Stacy Matheson’s children, including Nadia, 5, Solomon, 7, Kara, 15, Silas, 9, Cecily, 11, Bradford, 13, and Laughlin, 4.
WELCOME TO Encouraging young farmers to enter New Brunswick dairy farmer Gilbert Matheson was one of the first to enter the dairy industry through the province’s New Entrant Program more than a decade ago and has continued to contribute to the industry in many ways. By Jeff Tribe
airy Farmers of New Brunswick (DFNB) got more than it bargained for when it accepted Gilbert Matheson into its New Entrant Program. Not only did the initial quota loan resulted in the entry and ongoing expansion of a passionately committed New Brunswick dairy producer, but it also
CECILY MATHESON with Jenny the cow.
NEW BRUNSWICK dairy farmer Gilbert Matheson credits the province’s New Entrant Program for helping him enter the dairy industry. 24
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
STACY AND GILBERT MATHESON own and operate Grant’s Breeder Farm Ltd., in Kars, N.B. WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
CECILY MATHESON leaning on Girly the cow.
DAIRY FARMING the dairy industry opened the door to a diverse perspective and organizational contributions from the dairy operator’s energetic agri-entrepreneurial mindset. “I have lots of ideas for my own operation,” Matheson says, who was first elected as DFNB’s director-at-large and is currently sitting vice-chair. “But it’s great to have ideas for the industry.” Matheson’s farming connection came through his grandparents, Colleen and Donald Grant. Colleen earned the nicknamed “Miss Feathers” through her foundational work for Grant’s Breeder Farm Ltd. in Kars, N.B., including developing chick and pullet sales. Meanwhile, Donald’s youthful farmhand status precluded formal education. “He couldn’t read or write, but he had a heck of a mind when it came to looking after livestock,” Matheson says. “He would just work.” In his early 20s, Matheson struggled to keep up with his 70-year-old mentor. Donald’s focus on the barn and his net versus gross ideology are base principles Matheson has adopted. “It’s not what you make, it’s what you save that counts—how you spend your money,” he says. Matheson joined his grandfather right out of high school, navigating a bank manager’s skepticism at age 22 to purchase the mixed beef and poultry (layer breeder, layer pullet and egg station) farm overlooking Belleisle Bay near Kars, N.B. Today, Matheson and wife, Stacy, oversee a diversified agri-business with 15 full- and part-time employees hired under a policy of “finding good people and letting them do their jobs.” Matheson
handles operations, and Stacy, beyond homeschooling their seven children—ages 15, 13, 11, nine, seven, five and four—is in charge of financials. Their children are actively involved, with the three older kids, Kara, Bradford and Cecily, sharing a paid eight-hour alternate weekend position previously filled by an employee. “You don’t want to take advantage of your kids, but you want them to learn to work well, too,” he says. The Mathesons rent 200 acres and own 700—170 acres cleared, with 20 more cleared annually for agricultural production, wood sales and building lot severance potential. They currently milk 45 Jersey cows and have three farms focused on poultry: 4,500 layer breeder hens, 220,000 layer pullets, 16,000 broiler pullets and 250,000 day-old layer and broiler chicks for smaller markets and retail outlets. Their feed mill responded to the magnitude of their own bills and has expanded into supplying other operations, in conjunction with nutrition support. There are advantages to producing one’s own feed, Matheson says, “but there are savings in buying ingredients right as well.” The silage operation’s addition is consistent with growing and diversifying to reflect an expanding family, vertical integration and long-term strategic goals. “It’s great to pay off debt,” Matheson says.
“If you’ve got brains, ability, work ethic and equity, you can get into the dairy industry if you want. You’ve got to work for it, but (the New Entrant Program) gives you a little extra help to get in.”
— Gilbert Matheson
Continued on page 26 MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
Welcome to dairy farming, cont’d from page 25 “You have to pay off debt, but you’ve got to make your equity work for you, too.” Operational synergies exist, such as producing hen manure fertilizer or prioritizing where to spread the labour force to meet demand. Beef is notably absent within the business that emphasizes supply-managed commodities or those related to more predictable costs and margins. Ultimately, Matheson didn’t find beef production economically viable. “I don’t mind farming for nothing, which sometimes happens, but I have a problem paying for work,” he says. Matheson applied to New Brunswick’s New Entrant Program in 2007 and began dairy production early in 2008, reflecting Stacy’s background and his passion for Jersey cattle. At that time, applicants were loaned 12 kilograms of quota and required to purchase 12 kg—a supportive contribution due back by year seven. “The entrant program put me in business sooner,” Matheson says, adding the loaned quota allowed him to have more cashflow and reduce his initial investment. While New Brunswick’s land costs are among the cheapest in the country, the province can still be a tough location for dairy production, Matheson says. “We probably have some of the toughest climate, too,” he says. He believes the New Entrant Program is essential to bringing new people into the industry. “It does open doors. If you’ve got brains, ability, work ethic and equity, you can get into the dairy industry if you want,” he says. “You’ve got to work for it, but (the New Entrant Program) gives you a little extra help to get in.” Matheson’s first herd included Jerseys and Holsteins, housed inside a 47cow freestall barn serviced with a double four herringbone parlour. Breeding is accomplished through artificial
insemination through a 100 per cent transition to Jersey, mainly because Matheson always loved the breed. “(Jerseys also) produce what the market demands as far as I see it across my 13 years,” he says, referring to the higher butterfat content in milk from Jersey cows. He added a robotic milker in February 2018, and ultimately seeks to grow his current 45-member milking herd to 60, with corresponding expansion from 54 kg of quota. Cattle are fed corn and grass silage produced on-farm, supplemented by their own feed, with ground corn and soy bypass protein inside the robot. Philosophically, Matheson strives to “do everything right and do it right the first time,” maintaining focus on the core business. For example, he believes lactation starts when drying cows off, and attention to detail at that stage “sets you up for success all the way along.” The operation also identifies a specific item to improve upon annually in order to increase margins. “A lot of little details can add up throughout the year,” he says. Matheson brought his enjoyment of getting into the “little nitty gritty of problems and finding a way to fix them,” along with a slogan of “solutions, not complaints” to DFNB’s board candidacy. “If you have a complaint, you’d better also have a solution,” he says. After a year of observing, listening and asking a lot of questions as director-at-large, he indicated his desire to run for vice-chair to the sitting member, who responded with support. Matheson’s DFNB experience, one of nine voting directors provincially with observer status on the national scene, has underlined the pressing need for additional processing capacity nationally and in the Maritimes in particular. He is proud to point to a DFNB promotional effort, including a Facebook page that he feels is the best across the country. Partially through his diversified agri-business background, he also likes to present ideas for alternatives and see what happens with them. Board experience has helped Matheson understand why some tasks are done the way they are, but also reinforced his belief some tasks could still change. “I have a lot of different perspectives and ideas.” Matheson says he would love for his grandfather to have seen his and the operation’s progression, including its valued dairy component. “It’s an awesome industry to be in,” he says.
Jeff Tribe is a freelance writer for Milk Producer magazine.
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MAXIMIZING THE VALUE OF MALE DAIRY CALVES THROUGH BREEDING STRATEGIES By Lilian Schaer
here are important criteria to consider when buying male dairy calves for veal production to ensure producers are getting strong, healthy animals that will grow well. Most veal producers co-mingle animals from multiple sources, so it’s important calves are physically able to withstand those stressors. Good colostrum management early on is essential, as well as making sure calves have dry, healed navels, are free of scours and have a body weight of at least 100 pounds (45 kilograms). Lighter calves—those under 90 lb—should be kept a bit longer to give them a chance to gain extra weight and strength. A male dairy calf ’s early days will have an impact on its value, but for dairy producers to truly maximize the value of those animals, some thought should go into a veal-specific breeding strategy. “Producers should be mindful when breeding their dairy cows of what market they are breeding for,” says Kendra Keels, industry development director with Veal Farmers of Ontario. “Are they targeting the dairy-beef or the veal market with their male calves? Each needs a different animal.” According to Keels, veal producers are primarily looking for Holstein calves since they best fit the veal industry’s feeding program. By comparison, coloured dairy breeds should be bred to beef bulls to maximize the value of their male calves. “That Holstein bull calf was intended to be a heifer, so we have calves that are more suited for dairy production—a leaner, streamlined, taller animal. But for veal, we need an animal for meat, so we need blockier, stockier builds, which is what helps us get the finish on the animal,” she says. “Genetics play a part in this—it’s not just how the animals are finished. A Holstein bull that is square and blocky would be ideal.” Depending on the needs of their operations, dairy producers should evaluate whether sexed semen to guarantee heifer calves is worth the extra investment. It may be if the farm has spe28
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
A MALE DAIRY CALF’S early days will have an impact on its value, but for dairy producers to truly maximize the value of those animals, some thought should go into a veal-specific breeding strategy. Photo courtesy of Veal Farmers of Ontario
cific genetic, breeding or production goals, but if the goal is simply milk production and the gender of the calf does not matter, it creates more options for producers, she notes. “Beef or beef cross animals do not fit our veal feeding programs very well at this time, especially beef cross heifers because they are naturally too fat,” Keels says. What the veal industry needs is good quality Holstein male calves that are what she calls “blocky and stocky,” and she encourages dairy producers to consider that need when making breeding decisions. “More thought needs to be given at the time of breeding to where a male animal will ultimately end up. Different markets have different needs, and there is opportunity in breeding specifically for that veal market,” she adds. Time of year can also impact decisions at breeding time. Veal demand is strongest from September to December and competes for cooler space with other red meat species around the springtime, leading to diminished pricing and more limited market opportunities. Knowing
those are two key markets for veal, dairy producers should look ahead at the time of breeding for an idea of which market the animals will be ready in. “If veal producers can work together locally with dairy producers and build strong relationships and partnerships, there are lots of opportunities to find or produce the right calf,” she says. For more information, visit www.calfcare.ca. This project was funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Calf Care Corner delivers the latest information and ideas to help you improve the way calves are raised on your farm. If you have any comments or questions about Calf Care Corner, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Calf Care Corner on Facebook and Twitter @CalfCareCorner, and sign up for monthly e-blasts at www.calfcare.ca.
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EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE FORAGES TO SILAGE CORN Editor’s note: In 2020, certain Ontario regions experienced high corn rootworm pressure that challenged current Bt rootworm hybrids. In regions where Bt rootworm corn hybrids have been used for more than three consecutive years, resistance among corn rootworm populations is suspected. To assist producers in addressing this issue and rotating away from silage corn, Milk Producer is publishing a series of articles provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. This is the third article in the four-part series. Look in the May and June 2021 issues for the first and second articles. By Christine O’Reilly
ilage corn is grown to provide energy and fibre in a ration and has very high yield potential. In addition to breaking
corn rootworm lifecycles, alternatives to silage corn need to offer similar yield and nutritional value (Table 1). Producers should consult a livestock nutritionist to ensure rations are properly balanced. Neither winter cereals nor sorghum species are host crops for corn rootworm. Double
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cropping these two species is the easiest way to achieve comparable yields to a silage corn crop that does not have rootworm injury. Yield potential of fall rye is maximized when seeded on the optimum seeding date for winter wheat. However, rye can be successfully established after silage corn harvest. Where available and conditions permit, apply manure ahead of seeding. Seed at a rate of 110 kilograms per hectare (100 pounds per acre) and at 2.5 centimetres (one inch) depth or deeper to seed into moisture. For fertility guidelines, see chapter 4 of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Publication 811: Agronomy Guide for Field Crops, available at https://bit.ly/3vy3nB9. Remember to account for nutrients from manure when calculating fertility requirements. Apply 55 to 80 kg/ha (50 to 75 lb/ac) of nitrogen at green-up in the spring to encourage tillering and increase forage yields. Rye should be harvested between flag-leaf and early boot stage for high-quality forage. In southern Ontario, this typically occurs between May 10 to 20. Cut the crop at the optimum maturity stage and wilt to the target moisture for ensiling or baleage. If the rye shows signs of regrowth, a burn-down to terminate the crop will prepare the field for seeding sorghum-sudangrass. Winter triticale can be substituted for fall rye. Seeding rates and fertility requirements are the same. Triticale is typically ready to harvest 10 to 14 days later than rye. Where rye or triticale harvest conflicts with planting other crops in the spring, harvesting the cereal should take priority to maintain quality. Sorghum-sudangrass requires soil temperatures above 12 degrees Celsius to germinate, so conditions to seed generally occur in the last week of May or early June in southern Ontario. Where available and conditions permit, apply manure ahead of seeding. Seed at a rate of 33 to 44 kg/ha (30 to 40 lb/ac) and at two to four cm (0.75 to 1.5 in) depth. For phosphorus and potassium guidelines for corn, see chapter 1 of the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops, available at https://bit.ly/3gtLJu0. Remember to acW W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
Table 1: Typical nutritional quality and yield of some annual forage crops Protein (%)
NDFd (48 h)
Yield potential (tonnes DM/ha)
Silage corn (no corn rootworm injury)
Winter cereal (late boot to early head)
Italian ryegrass Westerwold ryegrass
count for nutrients from manure when calculating fertility requirements. Apply 80 to 100 kg/ha (90 to 110 lb/ac) of actual nitrogen up front, and 50 kg/ha (45 lb/ac) after first cut. Sorghum-sudangrass is a two-cut crop. It should be harvested before heads emerge, which is typically about 60 days after planting. At cutting, the crop is about 70 to 75 per cent moisture and requires wilting before ensiling or making baleage. It dries slower than alfalfa. To encourage regrowth, leave 10 to 18 cm (four to seven in) of stubble when harvesting. A second cut is typically ready 30 to 35 days after the first cut. Ensure the crop is at least 65 cm (26 in) tall before cutting. Wait for some regrowth, then terminate the sorghum-sudangrass with glyphosate to prepare the field to go back into rye. Another option to replace silage corn is an annual ryegrass, either Italian or Westerwold. Italian ryegrasses have a vernalization requirement like winter cereals, so they do not head out the year they are planted. Westerwold ryegrasses are more like spring cereals in that they will head out in the establishment year. While both are highly palatable to ruminants, they may be an alternate host for corn rootworm. To prevent rootworm populations from surviving on ryegrass and bridging between corn crops, ryegrass should either be followed by a non-host crop or grown for at least three years before rotating back to corn. Seed ryegrasses at 30 to 40 kg/ha (27 to 36 lb/ac) and six to 12 millimetres (0.25 to 0.5 in) depth. Where available and conditions permit, apply manure ahead of seeding. Phosphorus and potash fertility are the same as for Christine O’Reilly
*When fertilized with enough nitrogen
perennial forages. See chapter 3 of the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops, available at https:// bit.ly/3gFVe8a. Ryegrasses have very high nitrogen demands, so apply 55 kg/ha (50 lb/ac) up front, and again after each cut except the
last one of the year. All these options lose quality and palatability very quickly if harvest is delayed. These alternative forages can be seeded and harvested with conventional forage equipment.
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A G R I - C O M F O R T. C O M MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
FARMERS TURNING TO CUSTOM APPLICATION FOR MANAGING MANURE By Lilian Schaer
pplying manure efficiently and effectively where it will yield the most benefit is a goal of good nutrient management. As farm businesses get bigger and busier, a growing number of farmers are turning to licensed, professional applicators to handle their manure applications. This lets them focus their own time and resources on other aspects of the farm, while also ensuring nutrients are applied sustainably and responsibly. Adrian Guntensperger and Garth Franklin are both professional manure applicators and members of the Ontario Professional Agri-Contractors Association (OPACA) with unique perspectives on the benefits custom applications can have on nutrient management. Guntensperger owns and runs Guntensperger Farm Services in Seaforth, Ont., offering custom dry manure spreading and forage harvesting services to farms in Middlesex, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Bruce and Grey counties. He’s been in the business for about five years, but even in that time, he’s seen a shift in demand for manure spreading. “We used to be busy in the spring and fall, but we’re seeing a shift into August and September as our busiest time since more farmers are spreading after wheat comes off and putting in cover
crops,” he says. A lot of the fall demand for spreading is driven by a lack of sufficient on-farm manure storage to get farms through the winter, especially with growing awareness of the negative impacts of spreading manure on frozen and snow-covered ground. Because contractors must be licensed and update their training regularly, they’re always up to date on the most current nutrient management legislation and regulations and can advise customers on the best course of action for their particular situations, he adds. “Not everyone is familiar with the regulations, but we’re licensed so we know what we’re allowed to do from a nutrient management perspective,” he says. “I get phone calls in February asking if we can spread and I say no, but I look at options with the customer—with dry manure, temporary infield storage is an option, for example.” He can also give his clients exact information about how many tonnes per acre were applied, which makes it easy to calculate nutrient values and ensure the right amount of manure goes on the right fields. Garth Franklin has been in the liquid manure business for more than 30 years, servicing dairy, swine and poultry clients in an eastern Ontario region stretching from the Ottawa River to the St. Lawrence, west to Marionville near Ottawa and east into Quebec.
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“Because we write the exams, we know what you should put on, how much, where and what to avoid, such as municipal ditches, rivers, schools, etc.,” he says. “Manure is by far the biggest product produced on the farm in a year, but most farmers don’t pay attention to it. It’s a good resource that can really reduce your fertilizer bill if you know what you’re applying and it’s better for the soil and the worms.” He says since contractors haul and apply manure professionally, they have the knowledge and experience to do the job efficiently and effectively, including correctly agitating a pit before loading and avoiding spills on roadways while hauling. Ultimately, though, custom manure contractors can solve either a money or time problem for farmers. “A tank and loading cart like what we use will cost a farmer around $400,000—plus the maintenance, fuel cost and the big amount of shed space it will take up because of its size—and you’ll need a big tractor to pull the tanker and a tractor to run the pump,” he says, adding the economics don’t pencil out for most farms to do their own manure application. The other pain point for most farms is time. For example, emptying a 1.5-million gallon liquid manure pit with a 15,000-gal tank takes 100 loads, but he estimates most farmers are lucky to get 10 loads a day out around all the other jobs they have to do on the farm—and the windows for liquid manure application to be most effective are generally very short. According to Franklin, getting manure out quickly is critical in the spring and fall, and most farmers with forage crops want manure applied on fields immediately after hay is taken off for best regrowth. “Most farmers are always short of time—but good timing turns into cash if you can get your crops in early and get good second, third and fourth cuts of hay,” he says. More information about manure stewardship and long-term nutrient management options is available at https://www.farmfoodcareon.org/ timing-matters/.
This article is provided by Farm & Food Care Ontario as part of the Timing Matters project. The project is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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HOW WRITTEN AGREEMENTS CAN SAVE FARM FAMILIES By Kevin Hursh
he human and financial costs can be extremely high if farm enterprises aren’t properly structured with written agreements or if important business decisions are neglected. Commercial lawyer Rick Van Beselaere often sees the impact of poor farm enterprise planning. Based in Regina, Sask., and a partner in the Miller Thomson LLP law firm, many of his clients are farmers. “Good legal and accounting advice doesn’t always save families from strife, but the lack of proper agreements can contribute to strife and certainly contributes to the difficulties resolving or otherwise addressing conflicts,” Van Beselaere says. Kerry Riglin, a financial consultant and farm succession and estate planning specialist based in Wainwright, Alta., agrees. “Without proper agreements and planning, there can be hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes that could have been avoided, particularly as it relates to the lifetime capital gains exemption,” Riglin says.
PLANNING FOR PROBLEMS Many people would choose to avoid dwelling on what would happen in the event of an untimely death, divorce or disability, but the possibility of these misfortunes makes planning vital. What if the mother dies, the father remarries and suddenly there’s a blended family? Or what if someone in the farm operation ends up with a debt problem? “You have to think of the eventualities,” Van Beselaere says. “You have to plan for solutions to problems that might arise, and you need to change your processes to match the changes in your operation.” Van Beselaere cites a case where one of the partners in a farm started building and working on his own farm on the side. This left the other partner—his brother—and the parents’ farm that worked closely with the sons’ partnership in an increasingly difficult situation. He had become part time in the farming partnership with divided loyalties, while the WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
other partner was devoting much more of his time and attention to the partnership. There was no partnership agreement to address this situation, and the brothers did not work through the conflicts until it was too late. Expenditures are another common issue in partnerships. Often, there are many individuals spending money on behalf of the business, as well as taking money for personal use.
COVER OFF WITH AGREEMENTS “Partnership agreements should cover the structure, such as whether ownership is split 50-50 or 60-40 between two partners, especially if the partners are not spouses,” Riglin says. “There should be procedures stipulated for the disability, death, disagreement or exit of a partner.” For corporations, Riglin says it’s important to have a unanimous shareholder agreement (USA) to cover the same eventualities. Unfortunately, he says, most corporations do not have a USA or
“You have to plan for solutions to problems that might arise, and you need to change your processes to match the changes in your operation.” — Rick Van Beselaere they have one that isn’t sufficient. While not as critical if a husband and wife are the only shareholders, a USA becomes very important if a daughter or son enters the corporation. Riglin points out even if the father changes his will to not forgive the value of outstanding shares, the USA will prevail. A valuation process for assets is also needed. An agreed-upon way to determine what the assets and shares are worth is needed for shareholders either buying into the corporation or exiting. It’s also useful for addressing equalization issues for non-farming children—an issue that has increased in importance as farm assets have appreciated in value.
RULES CAN BE COMPLICATED In sole proprietorships, there’s often an assumption registering land in joint names is enough to achieve the lifetime capital gains exemption for the farmer’s spouse. However, Riglin points out to qualify, the person with their name on the title must have two years where the gross farm income exceeds all other income. In many operations, there is no formal partnership agreement, which could also affect the capital gains exemption. “In corporations, regular meetings and a definition and understanding of roles and powers are required,” Van Beselaere explains. “Many people don’t realize there are different roles, responsibilities and powers for shareholders versus officers of the company. Many people do not understand the differences between those positions, nor do they understand how the corporation is to be governed in the absence of written shareholder agreements.” Riglin often finds himself in the role of quarterback, working back and forth with a lawyer and accountant to plan work on behalf of a farm client. Van Beselaere works with accountants, succession planners and other experts in setting up the operations and, in other cases, advising a party when conflicts occur and disputes grow to become all-consuming. While producers need professional advice and guidance, they need to stay engaged and know enough to ask the proper questions. The rules change and farm operations evolve. For instance, farmland was often included within a farm corporation in the 70s and 80s. Now, the advice is typically to maintain land as a personal asset, particularly if it’s free and clear from debt. Sometimes farmers try to save money on legal and accounting fees. However, those fees can pale in comparison to lost tax exemptions, the legal fees to wind down an operation or the costs—both economic and personal—of fighting legal battles between unhappy partners or shareholders. This article is reprinted with permission of the author and Farm Credit Canada.
MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
IMPACT OF RUN OVERS AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM By Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
red Young, a consultant for Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), has spent three decades supporting the agricultural sector. Like many WSPS consultants with a lifetime background on the farm, he has his own personal story relating to safety. “My father was in the field operating our tractor cultivating. My three brothers were riding on the fenders of the tractor, and my father stopped to let two of them jump off. As he lifted the clutch, my other brother fell backward between the tractor and the disc,” he says. “As my father turned to look for him, he saw him on the ground with the disc on top of him. Stop or go? His head was between the coulters on the disc at this point. Dad decided it was best to keep moving and get the disc off him. Unbelievably, no serious injuries.” Sadly, scenarios like the one above continue to play out, often with far worse consequences.
As the leading cause of farm related injuries and fatalities, bystander run overs and equipment rollovers continue to be a tragic occurrence the farm. “Modern tractors and equipment keep getting bigger and bigger,” Young says. “Visibility of bystanders is a constant challenge.” The combination of operators not having a clear view and bystanders who assume they are visible and walk directly between the drive wheels are working conditions that every operator faces daily.
Along with riders on fenders, people riding in training seats without using seatbelts still occurs. It just takes one good bump and a door not properly latched and that rider can be ejected and run over. “Some tractors are started from outside the cab,” Young says. “Bypass starting and a transmission left in gear during the starting process has resulted in operators being injured or killed.”
TRAIN CHILDREN AT A YOUNG AGE
Modern equipment provides safety interlocks controlling the ignition/transmission function. Incidents can still occur if transmission system locks are not maintained. Equipment left unattended on a slight grade does roll. Operators are known to chase after a load of hay or a tractor rolling away from them. Many farm injuries and fatalities have occurred from chasing moving equipment. If operators stop and leave the cab, they should make it a habit to apply the brake. Never chase moving equipment. Operators are expected to be vigilant in the safe operation of equipment and they do carry the bulk of the responsibility. By teaching bystanders about equipment movement, it can prevent tragic loss on the farm. To access a free tractor safety awareness e-course, visit https://wsps.news/37ZKIn7.
When it comes to children on the farm, the potential for harm is that much more. It’s crucial children are taught from a young age to not assume the operator of a tractor is looking out for them, despite their best intentions. Simply put, if they can’t see the operator’s eyes, the operator cannot see them. They need to know the importance of establishing eye contact with the operator and proceeding with caution.
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COVID-19 HUB FOR AGRICULTURE The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for the agricultural community. The new Workplace Safety & Prevention Services’ COVID-19 hub for agriculture contains critical information, resources and updates to help employers ensure the safety of their workers during this time. Visit the hub at covid19.wsps.ca.
This article was prepared by Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). For more information, visit www.wsps.ca or contact WSPS at email@example.com.
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
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STRATEGIES FOR RAISING DAIRY-BEEF CROSSES By Serena Lamont and Amber Zupan
airy-beef crosses in the veal industry are a direct or indirect source of meat coming from the dairy industry. With the increased use of sexed semen and reproductive performance in dairy cows, it’s important for dairy producers to understand breeding decisions of beef bulls to dairy females. Since the dairy dam will be contributing half of her genetics to the dairy-beef offspring, and thus, half of her genetics for meat yield, emphasis needs to be placed on properly breeding beef with dairy to ensure calving ease and quality of the offspring. This will improve the profitability and sustainability of modern dairy production. Dairy-beef crosses can be used for both the veal and beef industry. In the veal industry, calves can be raised as milk-fed or grainfed veal. Milk-fed veal cattle are raised on predominantly milk or milk byproducts and are harvested at 24 to 27 weeks old with a 145-kilogram dressed weight and around 55 per cent yield. Grain-fed veal cattle are raised on predominantly grains post-weaning and are harvested around 36 weeks old with a targeted 180-kg dressed weight (190 kg maximum) and around 53 to 55 per cent yield. If veal cattle are not harvested in time and reach more than 190 kg, it will be marked as ungraded beef and may be less profitable to the producer. Ideally, dairy calves should be used for the veal industry since they are less fatty compared with dairy-beef crosses. However, dairy-beef crosses should be considered for the beef industry since they will become higher quality than dairy calves and therefore, result in higher income for the farmer. A majority of dairy-beef calves will also go to a feedlot to be raised for beef. Once in WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
the feedlot, dairy-beef animals are managed similar to how beef animals are raised and will typically remain there until harvest at 630 to 730 kg. Studies have looked at feed intake and weight in dairy animals compared with dairybeef animals and found dairy-beef animals will have a higher weight and more primal cuts, while still consuming the same amount of feed as their dairy counterparts. Dairy-beef calves can be reared similar to dairy calves. They still require the same protocol for colostrum as dairy calves—receiving adequate colostrum within two hours of birth plus an additional six litres within the first 24 hours. Dairy-beef calves will need to be fed highquality milk or milk replacer for the first seven weeks of life, gradually being weaned to promote starter intake. Dairy-beef calves, if housed with replacement heifers, should receive the same diet to reduce the potential of disease. Once in the grower phase, it’s important to
ensure dairy-beef calves receive eight to 12 per cent more energy in the ration than beef animals due to their high functioning organs. A high-energy diet with adequate protein is required. This will also be essential in the finishing stage. In the growing and finishing stages, the animals may be raised on pasture but need shelter from the weather and wind due to their hide being thinner than a beef animal. While beef is often seen as a coproduct of the dairy industry, it’s often of great economic benefit to dairy farms to breed to beef as dairy-beef crosses. Serena Lamont
is a young animal specialist at Grober Nutrition Inc.
is a nutrition and technical associate specialist at Grober Nutrition Inc.
This article is provided by Grober Nutrition.
MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
DAIRY RESEARCH DAIRY RESEARCH
ARE SOME COWS GENETICALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO JOHNE’S DISEASE? By Nathalie Bissonnette and Shelley Crabtree CONTRIBUTORS
research project led by Nathalie Bissonnette from Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC) – Sherbrooke and Kapil Tahlan from Memorial University of Newfoundland is investigating genetic markers in dairy animals that may be associated with Johne’s disease susceptibility or resistance. The project, entitled “Unraveling the genetic susceptibility to Johne’s disease,” is financed by AAFC and Lactanet with in-kind contributions from Holstein Canada under the Dairy Research Cluster 3. For dairy farmers, this disease results in financial losses related to reduced milk production, decreased pregnancy rates and increased premature culling, and impacts overall animal welfare.
PROJECT OVERVIEW Principal investigators: Nathalie Bissonnette (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) - Sherbrooke) and Kapil Tahlan (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Co-investigators: David Kelton, Flavio Schenkel (University of Guelph), Eveline Ibeagha-Awemu (AAFC-Sherbrooke), Gilles Fecteau (Université de Montréal) and Franck Biet (Institut national de la recherche agronomique - France)
Total budget: $1,019,988 36
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
Economic losses in the Canadian dairy sector resulting from Johne’s disease were recently estimated at $21.5 million to $34.1 million. The main pathogen that causes Johne’s disease is Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). Management tools are currently in place to reduce the spread of Johne’s disease in Canada. For example, by implementing proAction’s biosecurity module, dairy farmers work with their veterinarians to mitigate the risks of introducing existing and emerging animal diseases on their farms to maintain the health of their herd. However, controlling Johne’s disease is difficult due to the disease’s unpredictable progression and weak sensitivity of diagnostic tests. Previous research has shown the potential to reduce the prevalence of Johne’s disease in cattle by selecting for animals that are genetically resistant to the disease. This innovative application would complement the tools farmers can use alongside management strategies to prevent infections. Over a five-year period, Bissonnette and her collaborators collected serum and fecal samples from 3,150 cows. The team used this data combined with other diagnostic tests to define a classification system and identify animals as either infected and infectious, infected and assumed resistant or healthy. Using this unique dataset, they were able to accurately model the development of Johne’s disease over time and correctly differentiate between cows that would eventually develop Johne’s disease and those that resisted the infection and did not excrete the pathogen. Researchers are also genotyping cows using two proven genetic testing methods—sin-
gle nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) panel and genotyping by sequencing—and analyzing the epigenetic profile of susceptible cows. So far, the team has identified genetic and epigenetics markers associated with the susceptibility of developing Johne’s disease. In recent publications, researchers confirmed the presence of genetic modifications and the epigenetics effects that are associated to Johne’s disease. Analysis was performed to study the markers in vitro and the immune tolerance to Johne’s disease using bovine primary macrophages. Further research on a second population of dairy cows is ongoing and will confirm the usefulness of genetic markers for selection of Johne’s disease resistance and tolerance. The team is also investigating the genetic diversity of MAP strains by using validated tools and classifying the variants from animals across Canada that are infected with Johne’s disease at different stages. These analyses will define which factors affect the performance of diagnostic tests and explain disease progression. This ongoing work to identify MAP variants that could be more virulent will be key for developing a successful vaccination program in the future. For a list of scientific publication references associated with this article, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathalie Bissonnette is a research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Sherbrooke R&D Centre.
Shelley Crabtree is the communications and KTT specialist for the Dairy Research Cluster.
W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
EXPLORING INNOVATION AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN DAIRY ANIMAL HOUSING By Rajan Niraula CONTRIBUTOR
he world’s rising population has put tremendous pressure on the agriculture sector—from production to processing. When the sector is feeling the pressure to increase productivity, consumers on the other hand are becoming increasingly aware of the production system and its impact on the environment.
In the dairy sector, producers have a critical task of building livestock housing systems that meet public expectations in terms of cow health, animal welfare and better environmental stewardship. Innovative ideas and technology provide solutions to these emerging issues, but the challenge is finding a proven design that strikes a balance between public confidence, good practice and profitability. One of the areas that has changed significantly over the years is the housing system for dairy
cows. According to 2019 statistics from the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, 72.9 per cent of dairy housing in Canada is still tiestall (based on herds enrolled in the milk recording program). Consumers and animal enthusiasts have always raised concern of animal health and welfare in tiestalls, claiming it restricts voluntary movement and limits the animals’ expression of natural behaviour. Continued on page 38
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Exploring innovation and emerging technologies in dairy animal housing, cont’d from page 37 Producers are pressured to find better housing alternatives for new construction, extension or renovation projects. Currently, freestall housing systems are the obvious go-to option for new construction in North America. However, the industry is moving toward alternative designs that ensure animal health, welfare and environmental stewardship. In Ontario, compost bedded pack barns (CBP) have emerged as an alternative housing option for dairy cows. In Europe, newer housing models are emerging that claim improved animal health and welfare and better environmental stewardship. In a recent article by Galama et al., 2020, titled “Future of housing for dairy cows,” authors reviewed some of the emerging barn concepts and newer technologies in future dairy housing. One such housing alternative is loose housing, such as CBP barns. Recent studies have shown CBP barns provide improved animal health and welfare and allows cows to exercise more natural behaviours. A recent observation study across multiple countries in Europe found cows in loose housing take less time to lie down and stand up and have fewer hairless patches in all body areas except the neck, as well as fewer lesions in the lower hind legs and hindquarters and less swelling in the lower hind legs, flanks
and carpus than cows housed in freestalls (Blanco-Penedo et al., 2020). In another study, free housing with wood chip bedding material showed better air quality in terms of ammonia—31 per cent lower per cow compared with freestall systems. However, methane emission was 34 per cent higher per cow (van Dooren et al., 2019). Design modifications in CBP barns have also been implemented to reduce capital investment. Producers in parts of Italy with sunny and dry summers have lowered their initial capital investment in CBP barns simply by building barns without feed and cow alleys (Leso et al., 2018). Feeding in such barns is done in the pack with mobile feed troughs that are moved around periodically to avoid excessive moisture in one spot. However, this may not be practically achieved in Ontario. Producers are already experiencing challenges in maintaining drier packs in winter because of longer cold periods. Feeding and watering in the pack will lead to more moisture, making the pack even wetter. Wet packs will reduce composting rates and increase the risk of mastitis. In similar attempts, producers in the Netherlands have adopted a greenhouse type building, resulting in a lower investment for the roof construction to compensate for the investment in a greater area per cow. In the article by Galama et al., 2020, authors reviewed some of the potential models from different innovators that entail design
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modifications in reducing barn emissions. One such system is a multi-climate shed, which is still in concept and combines different innovations to capture ammonia, methane and other gases in the building. The idea is to build additional roofing, or a tent, above the feeding area to create a microclimate within the entire building with respect to temperature, humidity and fresh air. This provides the possibility of capturing and directing gases and odours to potential treatment systems, such as biofilters. The treated gas is then released to the atmosphere or burnt. Another innovative design described in the article is the artificial floor, designed to collect urine and feces separately. A separate collection system minimizes contact between urine and feces, which helps reduce urea hydrolysis and the subsequent ammonia and other gas emissions. A special drainage fabric is used at the top that lets urine through and keeps feces above the floor. Urine is collected in boxes underneath the floor and is transported through a pipe. Feces at the floor surface is moved by robotic scrappers. According to Theun Vellinga, livestock and environment researcher at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, greenhouse gas emissions and ammonia formation can be reduced by up to 75 per cent if urine and feces can be separated immediately. A European study called FreeWalk Project compared the cows’ activities on an artificial floor, composted woodchip bedding and cubical housing. Preliminary results showed cows were more active on the artificial floor (85 steps per hour) compared with the composted woodchip bedding (50 steps per hour) and the cubical barn (44 steps per hour). Lying times were higher in the cubical housing (48 per cent) and slightly shorter on the artificial floor (41 per cent) and composed bedding (42 per cent). Though new in the industry, a limited number of barns with an artificial floor are in operation or being built in the Netherlands. CowToilet, design by Doetinchem Hanskamp in the Netherlands, is another interesting innovation in dairy housing. Like artificial floors, the idea is to collect urine and feces separately to reduce urea hydrolysis and the subsequent emissions. It also helps optimize the use of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and organic matter. The concept is based on research on the defecating and urinating behaviour of dairy cows. The design stimulates the cow to urinate by touching the W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
The use of these technologies at the commercial scale may need more research, but producers should incorporate the changing dynamics of dairy animals while planning their new projects. Producers should understand and consider the results of this research that could benefit them in terms of productivity, animal health and environmental stewardship.
PICTURED IS a concept drawing of a low gas and odour emission barn (Sprecher, 2019). Source: Galama et al., 2020.
nerve at the back of her udder when she is feeding at a concentrate feeder. Urine is collected separately in a bowl. This technique results in better separation of urine and feces compared with the artificial floor, but not all urine is collected by the CowToilet (Galama et al., 2020). Even though producers have the option to choose from different emerging technologies for their livestock facilities, the biggest challenge to adopting these newer models has been the lack of enough researchbased data to make the right decision. Researchers are constantly studying these models to weigh their performance based on three elements of sustainability—environment, animal welfare and economics.
References: Note: This article is primarily based on article by Galama et al. (2020) and published in The Journal of Dairy Science. Galama, P. J., W. Ouweltjes, M.I Endres, J.R. Sprecher, L. Leso, A. Kuipers and M. Klopcic. 2020. Symposium Review: Future of housing of dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 103. 2 https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-17214 Blanco-Penedo, I., W. Ouweltjes, E. Ofner-Schrock, K. Brugemann, and U. Emanuelsen. 2020. Symposium review: Animal welfare in free-walk systems in Europe. J. Dairy Sci. 103. https://doi.org/ https://doi.org/10.3168/ jds.2019-17315. van Dooren, H. J. C., J. M. G. Hol, K. Blanken, and P. J. Galama. 2019. Gasvormige emissies uit vrijloopstallen met houtsnipperbodems. Ammoniak-, lachgas en methaanemissie op stalniveau. Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands. Leso, L., L. Conti, G. Rossi, and M. Barbari. 2018. Criteria of design for deconstruction applied to dairy cows housing: A case study in Italy. Agron. Res. (Tartu) 16:794–805. https://doi.org/10.15159/ ar.18.085.
Rajan Niraula is an engineering specialist in livestock housing and equipment for dairy, beef and goat
at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
This article is prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs livestock technology specialists to provide information producers can use on their farm.
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AN EYE ON THE HORIZON LRIC webinars and white papers offer credible information on big issues facing livestock By Lilian Schaer CONTRIBUTOR
hose in the dairy industry know firsthand there’s no shortage of issues on the livestock sector’s plate that need dealing with daily. It’s equally important, though, to keep an eye on the horizon for newer, more significant issues that are emerging and make sure there’s credible information available to inform policy and public opinion. Mike McMorris, chief executive officer of
the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC), says this is increasingly important in the face of changing consumer attitudes. More and more, consumers tend to lump livestock together into a single group instead of differentiating among beef, pork, dairy, poultry or egg production the way agriculture does. That presents both a challenge and an opportunity, he believes. “For consumers, livestock is livestock, so it’s important we take a collective approach to solutions,” McMorris says. “The big issues facing livestock today are more than any single or-
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ganization or sector can tackle on its own. And even if they could, there is a shared vulnerability, which means all sectors need to move forward or all are at risk.” At play are issues, such as livestock and poultry production impacts on climate change and soil health, antimicrobial resistance (taking a new One Health approach), transmissible disease and zoonoses, genetics and “animal-free” milk, eggs and meat, to name just a few. “As an organization, our vision is to create a robust future for the farmed animal value chain, and part of that is keeping an eye on opportunities and threats that may be coming at the poultry and livestock sector,” he says. According to McMorris, a collective approach is one of the original drivers behind the formation of LRIC. And it was the catalyst for one of LRIC’s latest initiatives, a collection of white papers and webinars called the Horizon Series that launched earlier this year. “All of these big topics mean different things to different people, and while there is a lot of information out there about each of them, not all of it is credible, and a lot of it certainly isn’t balanced,” he adds, citing greenhouse gas emissions as a leading example where fingers are often unfairly pointed at livestock and poultry production. LRIC’s goal with the Horizon Series is to provide people with an easy starting point for credible, accurate Canadian information on topics relevant to the sector and stimulate discussion inside and outside the industry. Each white paper is researched and written by LRIC’s team and reviewed by a credible subject matter expert who serves as contributing editor. That subject matter expert then presents the issue in a webinar and takes part in a question and answer session with participants. Webinars are recorded and posted on LRIC website, along with the white papers. This article is provided by Livestock Research Innovation Corporation as part of its ongoing efforts to drive innovation in the livestock sector. For more information about LRIC, visit www.livestockresearch.ca.
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LRIC’s goal with the Horizon Series is to provide people with an easy starting point for credible, accurate Canadian information on topics relevant to the sector and stimulate discussion inside and outside the industry. The series started in February 2021 with Dr. Rene van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, presenting on regenerative agriculture. Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle and Dr. Susantha Jayasundara from the department of environmental sciences at the University of Guelph focused on livestock and greenhouse gases, and Jean Szkotnicki, who served 29 years as the president of the Canadian Animal Health Institute before retiring, led the antimicrobial use and resistance in livestock topic. Most recently, Heather Murphy, associate
professor in the department of pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College, addressed the topic of One Health. Upcoming papers and webinars will look at genomics, getting research into use by industry, livestock and water use and the future of vaccines, including mRNA—a new platform that many Canadians have heard of recently as it’s the basis of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. All papers and recordings are available at www.livestockresearch.ca/white_papers.
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MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2:19:57 2021 PM 41 2021-03-29
AMINO ACID IMBALANCE IMPACTING MILK FATTY ACID PROFILE IN LACTATING DAIRY COWS By Kendra Hall CONTRIBUTOR
ilk fat production is the primary driver of profitability for dairy farmers. Milk fat production can be challenging to control on-farm for many reasons, including changes in diet and seasonal
fluctuations in temperature. Dairy cattle commonly enter a period of milk fat depression (MFD) due to metabolic changes in their mammary glands. These changes can be caused by diets high in concentrate or unsaturated oils. Milk fat depression results in low profitability. Research into MFD emphasizes an insulin and a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) response. Insulin decreases
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mobilization of adipose tissue, inhibiting mammary uptake of long-chain fatty acids from blood. Conjugated linoleic acid down-regulates mammary expression of enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis and desaturation. Amino acid subtraction experiments were conducted where individual amino acids are excluded from infusion to study the effects on milk synthesis. These experiments found that in response to amino acid imbalance (AAI) of certain amino acids, milk fat yield actually increased. This research opened the door for further studies on the effects of AAI on milk synthesis and the mechanisms causing them. A project by researchers at the University of Guelph’s Centre for Nutritional Modelling (CNM) was conducted to determine the effects of imposing an AAI on the fatty acid profile and whether the effects are additive to those of glucose and-or CLA in a milk fat depression scenario. Ten Holsteins at the Dairy Research and Innovation Centre in Elora, Ont., were assigned to one of six abomasal infusion treatments. One of three infusions was given—water, glucose or CLA. Each infusion was delivered with or without an essential AAI solution lacking histidine. Cows went through two seven-day periods—the first, a continuous infusion and the second, a washout consisting of no infusions. Cows were milked twice daily, and milk weights were recorded. Milk samples were taken on days five, six and seven and analyzed for amino acid and fat profile. In addition, four blood samples were taken on day seven and analyzed for glucose, non-esterified fatty acids, beta-Hydroxybutyric acid (BHB), triacylglycerol, blood urea nitrogen, acetic acid and insulin. The imbalanced amino acids did not affect total milk fat yield. However, there was an increased yield of long-chain fatty acids—more than 16 carbons. In addition, acetate, a milk fat precursor, had increased levels of mammary extraction from plasma, meaning increased fatty acid synthesis within the mammary gland. Desaturation percentages are reduced by CLA infusion. However, when infused alongside AAI, values were restored to control levels proving an additive effect. Insulin typically decreases plasma 2C (acetate + 2 × BHB) and long chain fatty acid (LCFA) concentrations. W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
However, when infused with AAI insulin, these concentrations remained constant, providing further evidence of an additive effect of AAI. Altering nutrition to combat diet-induced milk fat depression is a logical, real-time solution to combat economic losses. This study found AAI was capable of combating classic, diet-induced milk fat depression. These findings are an important first step to get this research to the point of practical application on-farm, potentially an AAI supplement. Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms behind AAI’s effects on mammary metabolism and milk fat production. Understanding the nutritional tools capable of
Kendra Hall is the communications co-ordinator for the Centre for Nutrition Modelling at the University of Guelph.
altering milk fat synthesis and their modes of action is very important for the industry. The results described in this article are based on research performed by MSc student Michaela Chalmers, under the supervision of Dr. John Cant, professor at the University of Guelph. For more information on this project, contact Chalmers at email@example.com. For more information on the Centre for Nutrition Modelling, visit https://www.cnm. uoguelph.ca. References Jorgensen, N. A., Schultz, L. H., & Barr, G. R. (1965). Factors influencing milk fat depression on rations high in concentrates. Journal of Dairy Science, 48(8), 1031-1039. Weekes, T. L., Luimes, P. H., & Cant, J. P. (2006). Responses to amino acid imbalances and deficiencies in lactating dairy cows. Journal of dairy science, 89 (6), 2177-2187.
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arm Credit Canada (FCC) announced the appointment of Perry Wilson as vice-president of operations in Ontario, following the retirement of his predecessor John Geurtjens. Wilson has more than 15 years of experience leading a variety of teams at FCC, in a province with one of the most diverse and dynamic agriculture and food industries in Canada. Before his latest appointment, Wilson was the senior director of FCC’s London district in Ontario. He grew up on a hog farm in Oxford County near Uniondale and graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph’s Advanced Agriculture Leadership Program. He now lives near Denfield in Middlesex County, and will lead the Ontario team of 170 employees from FCC’s London office. “My vison for FCC in Ontario is to continue to grow and evolve with the industry by building on our great relationships, understanding our customers’ needs and delivering value,” Wilson says. “We will continue to be an industry leader and support all sectors and sizes of enterprises at all stages of maturity. My predecessor, John
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Geurtjens, has left FCC Ontario in great shape. We have seen consistent growth and innovation in Ontario’s agriculture industry, thanks to the great people who work hard every day to put food on our tables. I look forward to meeting farm and business operators in person in the near future.” As Geurtjens gets ready to enjoy his retirement, he reflects on his nearly 41 years of service with FCC. “When I started, interest rates were high and crop prices were low,” Geurtjens says. “I enjoyed numbers and working with people. It was a good match with my interests, and what better way to see what farmers are doing than to go visit them and see if FCC could help finance their dreams.” Geurtjens worked through some of the most difficult times the agriculture industry has ever experienced during the 1980s, a period that laid a foundation of resilience that has served him well as a lender and as a leader at FCC. “In the 1980s, there were a lot of difficulties and financial ruin along the way, but we came out of that and farmers knew they should be diversifying,” Geurtjens says. “This is still good advice for today’s farmers, and the future is vibrant and positive for agriculture and agribusiness in Canada. I wish all the best to Perry.”
ONTARIO FORAGE NETWORK
he Ontario Forage Council, Ontario Hay Listings, Ontario Biomass Producers Co-op and the Ontario Hay and Forage Co-operative have collaborated to bring producers the Ontario Forage Network. The new ONForageNetwork.ca website is the online hub for forage, pasture and biomass crop production in the province. Producers can find information on seeding, growing, harvesting, storing and marketing crops. Using the new website, producers will be able to browse products available from the co-operatives and learn about their end use markets, see upcoming events and news, post an ad, become a member and more. Finding any of the organizations listed above is easy—just search their previous domain, and producers will be directed to the right page on the network. The Ontario Hay Listings is also getting a makeover. Until now, only hay, straw and biomass ads have been permitted, but the organization has expanded the categories to include everything from manure exchange to labour. This area of the site is still in development. A second phase of this project is underway to add a permanent home for the goforages.ca domain. This area will be dedicated to forage research, as well as technical and agronomy information from a variety of sources. W W W.MILK PRODUCER.CA
OSCIA LAUNCHES PILOT PROJECT TO INCREASE SOIL HEALTH By Tracey Ryan
he Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) invites farmers in three counties to accelerate their soil health game through a pilot project this summer. Producers in Lambton, Renfrew and Simcoe counties will have the opportunity to apply for cost-share funding to implement soil health practices, including cover cropping and soil testing. Successful applicants will work one on one with certified crop advisers (CCA) or professional agrologists (P.Ag) to increase their knowledge of the soil productivity practices. CCAs and P.Ags will help producers in the cover cropping stream develop cover cropping programs to meet the unique needs of their farms. Producers in the soil testing stream will learn how to interpret their soil test reports and develop field specific fertility programs. “OSCIA is pleased to be testing this new and innovative project design,” says Chad Anderson, OSCIA’s president. “We are eager to support producers in accessing local expertise, which is vital in addressing information and knowledge barriers to the implementation of these proven soil productivity practices. The goal is to encourage more producers to incorporate soil testing and cover cropping into their regular farm management practices to support soil health.” The pilot project was developed after extensive research into the reasons why soil testing and cover cropping are not being implemented on more farms. OSCIA consulted members of an advisory team to help understand how to overcome the barriers farmers face when adopting these practices.
ADVISORY TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDED: • Farmers; • Representatives from soil testing laboratories; • Representatives from cover crop seed dealers; • Staff from conservation authorities; • CCAs. While the project’s focus is on farmers who do not regularly soil sample, the project will also assist farmers who want to expand their WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
soil sampling practices. Successful applicants who participate in the soil testing stream will receive one-on-one assistance and be eligible to receive a total maximum reimbursement of 60 per cent of eligible costs (up to $2,500). Farmers looking to try cover crops for the first time and those wishing to diversify their cover cropping practices will be eligible to apply for the pilot project. Participants in the cover cropping stream will receive assistance setting their cover crop goals and be eligible for a total maximum reimbursement of 60 per cent of eligible costs (up to $2,500). The project will run for the 2021 growing season. “The project relies on quite an innovative design and delivery construct,” says Tracey Ryan, OSCIA’s applied research co-ordinator. “We will lean on the certified crop advisers who already work in the targeted counties to share their expertise with participants. The process will be evaluated throughout, with less weight on the actual acres involved and more emphasis on whether the approach leads to stronger engagement by farmers.” OSCIA seeks CCAs and P.Ags in Lambton, Renfrew and Simcoe counties with a passion for soil testing and-or cover cropping to share their agronomic expertise with successful project applicants. Interested CCAs and P.Ags can contact Tracey Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org for
more information. The Reducing Barriers to BMP Adoption – Soil Testing and Cover Crops is a three-year applied research initiative that began in 2019. The initiative supports improving soil health, productivity and water quality on farms across Ontario. This project is funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs identified the need for the project and OSCIA is delivering it. For more information, visit https://www.ontariosoilcrop.org/accelerate-your-soil-health/. Tracey Ryan
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ATLANTIC JOBS provides you with: • Very experienced dairy farm workers • Workers providing permanent long term commitment to you
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CFGA WANTS TO KNOW HOW FORAGE SAVVY YOU ARE
T BORECO 3 IN 1 - BRUSHING, SPREADING & SCRAPING
Dalefield Ag 1-855-845-9755 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dalefieldag.com
he Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) has teamed up with the Coordination ServicesConseils to participate in weekly bilingual quizzes about forage systems. Each week, the organizations share links to a webinar on forages presented by Maxime Leduc, PhD Agr. consultant, and the weekly forage quiz. Webinars are in French with English subtitles, and producers have the option to complete the quizzes in French or English. Watch CFGA’s Facebook page and Twitter (@CFGA_ACPF) for links to the webinars and quizzes, or email email@example.com and ask to be notified when a new webinar and quiz are available. The CFGA 2021 conference planning continues with a theme of Forage landscape synergies. It will be delivered virtually from Dec. 14 to 16 in partnership with the Quebec provincial forage association, Conseil québécois des plantes fourragères. Presentations will be offered in English and French and cover a variety of topics, including the progressive Quebec forage and grassland sector, sustainability, data management, high performance forage management, forage export market and ecological services and grasslands ecosystems. To stay up to date on the conference and other CFGA initiatives, sign up for updates on CFGA’s website at www.canadianfga.ca, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Aceptec LTD Rob Krijnen 516-617-1100 www.TridentPulsation.com 46
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Blumenort Blumenort Penner Farm Farm Services Services Penner 800-461-9333 204-326-3781 204-326-3781 800-461-9333
Lindsay Lindsay Ron’s Bearings Bearings Equipment Equipment Sales Sales Ron’s 705.878.4515 705.878.4515
Strathroy-Salford-Dunnville Strathroy-Salford-Dunnville Dortmans Bros Bros Dortmans 1-800-265-3435 1-800-265-3435
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Brinston Brinston Dundas Agri-Systems Agri-Systems Dundas 613-652-4844 613-652-4844
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INSCRIVEZ-VOUS AU PROGRAMME DE TRAÇABILITÉ DE PROACTION VIA TRACÉLAITIER Faire rapport en vertu du module de traçabilité de proAction sera obligatoire à partir du 1er septembre
lus que jamais, les consommateurs réclament aux producteurs alimentaires des normes élevées en matière de production, de qualité des ingrédients et de bien-être des animaux. TracéLaitier et le module de traçabilité de proActionMD sont une partie importante de la façon dont les producteurs laitiers de l’Ontario établiront la confiance avec les consommateurs. TracéLaitier est un programme national de traçabilité des bovins laitiers, qui fournit un cadre unique et commun permettant aux exploitants de fermes laitières d’effectuer un suivi de l’identité et des mouvements de l’animal, d’enregistrer les identifications de locaux et de réduire l’impact des problèmes de santé potentiels des animaux. Tenir méticuleusement des dossiers et mettre en œuvre des pratiques de traçabilité détaillée permet aux producteurs de gérer, réduire et se préparer à l’impact des problèmes de santé potentiels des animaux, et montre aux consommateurs que l’industrie s’engage à garantir un approvisionnement alimentaire sûr.
En vertu du module de traçabilité de proActionMD, quiconque détient, s’occupe de ou contrôle des bovins laitiers doit enregistrer et faire rapport de l’identité de l’animal, ses mouvements et son emplacement. Les producteurs seront tenus de rapporter les événements relatifs à la traçabilité des bovins laitiers sur TracéLaitier à partir de septembre 2021, en vertu du module de traçabilité de proActionMD. Pendant la validation, les producteurs devront prouver que les événements relatifs à la traçabilité sont rapportés. Par exemple, les producteurs peuvent accéder à leur compte TracéLaitier et montrer les événements rapportés à leur validateur. Les producteurs ont également la possibilité de générer un rapport TracéLaitier de proActionMD par le biais de leur compte TracéLaitier. Activer un compte avec TracéLaitier est essentiel afin d’éviter d’encourir des sanctions de la part de proActionMD. Si les producteurs omettent de signer et faire rapport à temps, ils pourraient faire l’objet de demandes d’action correctives majeures
au moment de la validation. Si ces demandes ne sont pas corrigées en temps opportun, le producteur ne passera pas sa validation et il pourra faire l’objet de sanctions de la part de proActionMD, qui peuvent entrainer la suspension du permis et du ramassage de lait. Les producteurs doivent contacter le service clientèle de TracéLaitier au 1‐866‐55‐TRACE afin de mettre en place les détails du compte. Nous leur rappelons également qu’ils peuvent commencer à rapporter les événements comme l’activation de l’étiquette ou les mouvements de l’animal dans la base de données de suivi des bovins laitiers. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez vous reporter aux ressources suivantes : • Foire aux questions : https://bit.ly/35Bd07y (French: https://bit.ly/3gDxAJy); • L’abc de TracéLaitier : https://bit.ly/3cSdBFO (French: https://bit.ly/3wGyDiL); • Feuillets d’information : https://bit.ly/3zFwaXx (French: https://bit.ly/35ww4ns).
CRÉDITS DE SURPRODUCTION ET DE SOUS-PRODUCTION AUTORISÉS – RAPPEL Note de l’éditeur: Ce message avait déjà été annoncé dans les numéros d’octobre 2019, d’août 2020 et d’avril 2021 de Milk Producer.
armoniser la production de lait du P5 avec les marchés variables s’est avéré de plus en plus difficile au cours des dernières années. Certains producteurs accumulent des crédits de sous-production, ce qui entraîne des pénuries de lait, puis utilisent ces crédits lorsqu’il y a déjà suffisamment de lait dans le système. Cela explique en partie les augmentations et baisses de quotas, ainsi que la politique de limite des crédits observées ces dernières années. Ainsi, les crédits de sous-production des fermes sont WWW.MILKPRODUCER.CA
devenus un problème important pour remplir les marchés provinciaux/du P5. Les conseils du P5 ont examiné les crédits de surproduction et de sous-production autorisés, et ont approuvé un ajustement qui est effet d’ici le 1er août 2022. Actuellement, tous les producteurs du P5 sont autorisés à emprunter au maximum 10 jours de crédit de surproduction (10 x quota journalier) et à accumuler au maximum 30 jours de crédit de sous-production (30 x quota journalier). La politique a été mise en place pour aider les producteurs à gérer leurs quotas lors de variations de la production de lait, tout en permettant une offre de lait suffisante pour répondre à la demande annuelle du P5. Les crédits actuels de surproduction et
de sous-production autorisés sont harmonisés dans les provinces du P5 depuis 2009. • À compter du 1er août 2022, le nombre maximal de crédits de sous-production autorisés sera modifié pour passer de -30 jours à -15 jours; • Les crédits de surproduction autorisés demeureront à +10 jours, pour un total de 25 jours de crédit au lieu de 40. On rappellera le changement aux producteurs, et ils pourront ajuster leur position de jours de crédits à leur rythme, tant qu’ils respectent la limite de crédit de sous-production révisée à la date indiquée. Tout crédit de sous-production en-dessous de la limite révisée en vigueur du 1 août 2022 sera perdu. MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
NOUVELLES ET MARCHÉS
L’OFFRE ET LA DEMANDE : UN ÉQUILIBRE FRAGILE
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
la demande en crème a dépassé celle du lait écrémé pendant 12 semaines. Il reste beaucoup à faire dans les prochaines années pour écouler cet excédent de lait écrémé, appelé surplus structurel. L’Accord Canada-États-Unis-Mexique nous impose des restrictions sur les quantités de ces surplus que nous pouvons exporter. Les producteurs et les transformateurs doivent collaborer à l’échelle nationale. En ce qui concerne les producteurs, la modification de la proportion de M.S.D. ainsi que la façon dont ils sont payés pour les composants est une façon pour nous de régler cette question. Nous savons également que de nombreux consommateurs accordent de l’importance à la nourriture que les producteurs laitiers donnent à leurs vaches; il convient donc de rester prudent dans ce domaine. En ce qui concerne les transformateurs, des investissements sont nécessaires, non seulement pour répondre au besoin croissant de crème, mais également pour utiliser davantage de M.S.D. Les producteurs doivent collaborer à l’échelle nationale pour s’assurer que le secteur est prêt à soutenir ces investissements. Toutes ces questions exigent des discussions et une compréhension mutuelle afin de maintenir un équilibre sain entre l’offre et de la demande à l’avenir.
PROPORTION DE MATIÈRE SÈCHE DÉGRAISSÉE À LA MATIÈRE GRASSE (M.S.D.-M.G.) Ce graphique montre la proportion de M.S.D.-M.G. en Ontario pour les 12 derniers mois par rapport à sa proportion ciblée de 2,1722. Proportion de M.S.D.-M.G. en Ontario Proportion ciblée de M.S.D.-M.G. en Ontario
2,45 2,4 2,35
2,2 août 2020
e système de gestion de l’offre de produits laitiers au Canada repose sur l’équilibre de la production pour répondre à la demande du consommateur – une déclaration facile à faire, mais un principe qui peut s’avérer difficile à appliquer lorsque l’on creuse un peu le sujet. L’apparition de la pandémie a certainement rendu la situation plus complexe, mais de nombreux autres facteurs font partie de l’équation de l’offre et de la demande. Les habitudes d’achat saisonnier, le changement des préférences des consommateurs, les promotions au détail, les innovations en matière de produits, les échelons des importations, la capacité des usines et les interruptions de travail, pour ne citer que quelques facteurs, ont tous des répercussions sur la demande. En ce qui concerne l’offre, la qualité des aliments, les conditions météorologiques, les coûts des intrants et la saisonnalité de la production, qui est naturellement presque contraire à la saisonnalité de la demande, sont quelques-uns des facteurs qui affectent l’offre des produits laitiers. Je me réjouis de la façon avec laquelle l’industrie s’est adaptée au cours de l’année passée afin que nous puissions continuer à répondre à la demande du consommateur, qui est passé du secteur de la restauration aux achats au détail. Comme j’écris cette colonne fin juin, nous voyons que les 12 dernières semaines des ventes de produits laitiers au détail sont supérieures de 6 % à celles d’il y a deux ans pour la même période (avant la pandémie), avec une forte augmentation pour le beurre et la crème. Cette augmentation ralentit pour passer à 3 % au cours des 4 dernières semaines des ventes au détail par rapport aux ventes au détail de 2019, alors que le secteur de la restauration commence à rouvrir et que les gens sont prêts à manger à l’extérieur. Ces chiffres sont toutefois encourageants. Afin de gérer les variations de l’offre et de la demande, les stocks de beurre et de fromage jouent un rôle important, étant donné que ces produits peuvent être stockés. Nous nous concentrons principalement sur les stocks de
PRÉSIDENT DU DFO
Proportion de M.S.D.-M.G.
Par Murray Sherk
beurre qui sont généralement à leur plus bas niveau en décembre après la forte demande en beurre et en fromage avant la saison des fêtes, et du côté de l’offre, la faible production à la fin de l’été et en automne. En hiver, alors que les vaches profitent des températures plus fraîches et de rations constantes, la production augmente souvent, mais la consommation de lait étant faible, les stocks de beurre s’accroissent. Nous débattons activement dans l’industrie sur le niveau de stocks de beurre approprié, bien qu’il s’agisse d’un volume général. Prises individuellement, les sociétés peuvent avoir des objectifs différents en fonction de la progression de leurs propres ventes et des contrats qu’elles signent. L’hiver passé, les stocks de beurre n’ont pas augmenté comme à leur habitude en raison de la forte demande en crème et en beurre. Cela a conduit les comités du P5 à proposer des jours d’incitatifs supplémentaires afin de disposer de suffisamment de lait pour répondre aux besoins du marché en automne. Une difficulté supplémentaire dans cet équilibre est que la demande en matières grasses est différente de celle des matières sèches dégraissées (M.S.D.) ou du lait écrémé. La demande en crème augmente plus rapidement que la demande en lait écrémé. Par exemple, au cours des 16 dernières semaines,
L’INDUSTRIE SE PRÉPARE À UN RETOUR À LA NORMALE Par Jennifer Nevans
lors que l’industrie se rapproche un peu plus de ses niveaux de stocks de beurre pour la fin de l’année laitière, les provinces du P5 peuvent attribuer aux signaux de production récemment émis d’avoir aidé les producteurs à réduire l’écart. En mai 2021, les niveaux de stocks de beurre ont atteint 30 400 tonnes, ce qui représente une augmentation de 2 600 tonnes par rapport au mois précédent, lorsque les stocks de beurre se situaient à 27 900 tonnes. « C’est une bonne nouvelle et les stocks vont dans le bon sens, », affirme Patrice Dubé, chef du service économie et agent d’élaboration des politiques de Dairy Farmers of Ontario. « Nous attendons toujours les chiffres du mois de juin pour déterminer si nous atteindrons notre objectif de 35 000 tonnes au terme de l’année laitière en juillet 2021, mais la tendance est positive. » En plus des niveaux de stocks de beurre de juin, les offices du P5 attendent également les prévisions révisées liées à la demande du marché de la Commission canadienne du lait en juillet. Cependant, les évaluations initiales indiquaient
une augmentation de 2,43 pour cent de la demande nationale prévue pour la fin de l’été et l’automne, principalement en raison de la reprise économique. Il s’agit là d’une autre annonce positive, compte tenu des niveaux d’importation attendus pour l’année 2021-2022. « Nous devons toujours tenir compte des importations, » affirme Dubé. « Cette année, les importations étaient inférieures aux prévisions, mais nous attendons une hausse du niveau des importations dans les prochaines années, quand les choses reviendront à la normale et avec l’accès progressif au marché accordé grâce aux récents accords commerciaux. » Selon lui, et malgré la hausse des niveaux d’importation, les provinces du P5 prévoient quand même qu’une partie de cette demande accrue devra être comblée par la production nationale. En ce qui concerne les ventes nationales de produits laitiers au détail, pour les 52 semaines s’achevant au 22 mai 2021, les ventes de lait, de crème de consommation, de yogourt, de crème glacée, de fromage et de beurre ont augmenté respectivement de 2,3; 8,9; 2,4; 4,3; 6,3 et 6,1 pour cent, en comparaison avec la précédente période de 52 semaines. Tandis que les ventes nationales de produits laitiers restent soutenues, l’industrie voit égale-
ment les ventes au détail revenir lentement à leur niveau de 2019, indiquant par ailleurs que l’industrie revient à son environnement préCOVID lorsque le secteur de la restauration était ouvert et que les consommateurs ne faisaient pas d’achats de panique dans les épiceries. Selon Dubé, tant que la situation de la pandémie s’améliore, les ventes au détail de l’industrie continueront de revenir à la normale, à mesure que les consommateurs sont désireux d’acheter et de consommer de la nourriture en dehors de chez eux. Les besoins totaux nationaux en matière grasse pour la période de 12 mois s’achevant en avril 2021, ont atteint 1,09 million kilogrammes, en comparaison aux 1,06 million kg l’année précédente. Entre-temps, la production laitière totale du P10 pour la période de 12 mois s’achevant en avril 2021 a atteint 1,07 million kg, en comparaison aux 1,04 million kg l’année précédente. L’objectif principal de l’office du P5 est de surveiller en continu la situation du marché laitier et de satisfaire la demande de la façon la plus optimale. Compte tenu de ces périodes d’incertitude, les offices du P5 continueront d’adapter les signaux de production pour faire face aux changements du marché, tel que la situation nous l’exige.
PRIX DU QUOTA QUOTIDIEN ($/kg)
Retenues en Ontario Pour mai 2021
Excédent de quota
Administration DFO Recherche DFO CanWest DHI Transport Expansion de marché
0,625 $ 0,050 $ 0,060 $ 3,070 $ 1,400 $
0,625 $ 0,050 $ 0,060 $ 3,070 $ 1,400 $
Total de retenues Total net moyen
5,205 $ 75,039 $
5,205 $ -5,205 $
*Ces équivalents par hl sont calculés d’après la composition moyenne ontarienne pour mai 2021 de 4,11 pour la M.G., de 3,18 pour la protéine et de 5,94 pour les A.M.S., et arrondis au centième près. Le prix réel du transport pour mai 2021 était de 3,070 $ l’hectolitre.
Quantité à vendre/kg
48 000 $
42 050 $
36 000 $
24 000 $
24 000 $
24 000 $
Exchange cancelled No clearing price established
*Terre-Neuve n’utilise pas d’échange mensuel de quotas **Plafond de 24 000 $ en vigueur en Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Nouveau-Brunswick, Ontario, Nouvelle-Écosse et le Québec MILKPRODUCER | JULY 2021
JUILLET PRIX PONDÉRÉS DU P5 ET DU POOL DE L’OUEST*
REVENU BRUT MOYEN EN ONTARIO
Le graphique ci-dessous montre le prix pondéré de 12 mois pour les provinces du P5 et le pool de lait de l’Ouest (PLO).
Retenues brutes moyennes par hL, basé sur la composition mensuelle provinciale kg-par-hL.
*Ces chiffres sont fournis avec un décalage de trois mois
Pour mai 2021
Prix intérieur-quota Excédent de quota
Pour avril 2021 (kg de M.G./kg d’extrait sec dégraissé)
% Extrait sec degrasse
* 11,87 %
0,20 % 0,65 % 0,70 %
*1,69 % *0,75 % *4,62 % 16,31 % 15,24 %
0,80 % 1,02 % 2,39 % 2,87 %
*0,82 % *2,92 % 6,29 %
0,43 % 0,41 %
*0,39 % 2,92 % 4,31 %
*3,05 % 18,37 % 17,48 %
*13,23 % *0,14 %
3,35 % 2,75 % 3,16 %
1,83 % 1,73 % 0,60 %
*28,22 % *7,57 %
3,75 % 4,91 %
JULY 2021 | MILKPRODUCER
M.G. par kg
Protéin par kg
A.M.S par kg
REVENU par kg de M.G.
REVENU *par hL
En May, 3340 producteurs ont livré du lait au DFO comparativement à 3373 l’an dernier.
*Utilisation par classe dans le P10
PRIX BRUT ACCORDÉS
$70 oct. 2020
P5 77,35 $
80,24 $ sept. 2020
PLO 78,99 $
Prix pondéré à l’hectolitre
Prix pondéré du P5 Prix pondéré du PLO
Classe 1a1 (comprend les classes 1a2, 1a3, 1c et 1d pour des raisons de confidentialité) Lait et boissons Classe 1b Crèmes liquides Classe 2a Yogourt, boissons à base de yogourt, kéfir et lassi Classe 2b4 (comprend les classes 2b1, 2b2 et 2b3 pour des raisons de confidentialité) Desserts laitiers frais, crème sure, milk shakes, et boissons nutritionnelles pour sportifs Classe 2b5 Crème glacée et yogourt glacé Classe 3a1 Fromages de spécialité Classe 3a2 Fromages en grains et fromages frais Classe 3b2 (comprend la classe 3b1 pour des raisons de confidentialité) Cheddar et cheddar vieilli Classe 3c1 Feta Classe 3c2 Asiago, gouda, havarti, parmesan et suisse Classe 3c4 (comprend les classes 3c3 et 3c5 pour des raisons de confidentialité) Brick, Colby, fermier, jack, Monterey jack, munster, fromage pour pizza, mozzarella pour pizza, et autres mozzarellas non couvertes dans la classe 3d. Classe 3c6 Panir Classe 3d Mozzarella utilisée strictement sur les pizzas fraîches par les établissements enregistrés auprès de la Commission canadienne du lait Classe 4a Beurre et poudres Classe 4d (comprend les classes 4b1, 4b2, 4c et 4m pour des raisons de confidentialité) Lait concentré pour la vente au détail, les pertes et l’alimentation animale Classe 5a Fromages destinés à la transformation Classe 5b Produits non fromagers destinés à la transformation Classe 5c Produits de confiserie